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Rumal with scenes of gopis worshiping Krishna. Late 18th to early 19th century, Chamba district, Himachal Pradesh, India. Ceremonial/ritual furnishing, silk embroidery on cotton. LACMA textile collection Chamba Rumal .jpg
Rumāl with scenes of gopis worshiping Krishna. Late 18th to early 19th century, Chamba district, Himachal Pradesh, India. Ceremonial/ritual furnishing, silk embroidery on cotton. LACMA textile collection

A rumāl (Punjabi: ਰੁਮਾਲ) is a piece of clothing similar to a handkerchief or bandana. It is worn by Sikh men who cut their hair and other guests when they are in a Gurdwara. Covering the head is respectful in Sikhism and if a man is not wearing a turban, then a rumāl must be worn before entering the Gurdwara. Rumāls are also worn by Sikh children on their topknot, and by Sikh males while engaging in athletic activities.

In most Gurdwaras, there is often a basket of rumāls outside for welcoming in more guests. If there are no rumāls supplied by the Gurdwara then a clean and plain handkerchief is the most suitable cloth to use.

Outside the context of Sikhism, a rumāl is simply the Urdu, Hindi, Nepali and Bengali word for handkerchief, and will be understood as such. Its association with Sikhism is not implied.

The rumāl was used by the Thugees in India as a method of strangulation. A coin was knotted in one end of the scarf, and would be swung around the neck of the victim, who would then be strangled. In the 1970s television series Dad's Army , Corporal Jones attempts to strangle Captain Ramsey with such a rumāl in the episode "We Know Our Onions". [1] [2]

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Sikhism Monotheistic religion originating in the Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent

Sikhism ; Punjabi: ਸਿੱਖੀ or Sikhi, is a monotheistic religion that originated in the Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent around the end of the 15th century CE. Sikhism is one of the youngest of the major religions and the world's fifth-largest organized religion, with about 25-30 million Sikhs as of the early-21st century. However, there are in addition roughly 120–150 million Nanak Naam Lewas people (Nanakpanthis) across the world who also believe in 10 Sikh Gurus and Guru Granth Sahib.

Sikhs Members of the Sikh religion

Sikhs are people associated with Sikhism, a monotheistic religion that originated in the 15th century in the Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent, based on the revelation of Guru Nanak. The term Sikh has its origin in the word śiṣya (शिष्य), meaning 'disciple' or 'student'. According to Article I of the Sikh Rehat Maryada, a Sikh is:

Any human being who faithfully believes in One Immortal Being; eleven gurus, from Guru Nanak to Guru Granth Sahib; the teachings of the 6 Gurus, 15 bhagats, 11 bhatts, 4 Gursikhs and the baptism bequeathed by the tenth Guru.


Thuggee refers to the acts of the Thugs, who were organised gangs of professional robbers and murderers. The English word thug traces its roots to the Hindi ठग, which means 'swindler' or 'deceiver'. Related words are the verb thugna, from the Sanskrit स्थग and स्थगति. This term, describing the murder and robbery of travellers, was popular in the northern parts of the Indian subcontinent and particularly India.

The Khalistan movement is a fundamentalist and sectarian based Sikh secessionist movement whose aim is to divide India and turn the Indian state of Punjab into a unilaterally run state for Sikhs, called Khālistān, meaning "Land of the Pure". It has never been conclusively determined what the proposed state borders would be due to disagreements among parties with competing interests. In general however, the proposed borders consist of land that currently forms Punjab, India and potentially, though mentioned far less often Punjab, Pakistan. Neither India nor Pakistan have agreed to any such land claims since they are not legitimate.

Operation Blue Star Indian military operation

Operation Blue Star was the code name of an Indian military action which was carried out between 1 and 10 June, 1984, in order to capture the Sikh leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and his followers hidden inside the buildings of Harmandir Sahib complex in Amritsar, Punjab. The decision to launch the attack rested with Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who, according to retired general S.K. Sinha, had been considering the operation for more than 18 months prior, authorizing army preparation for it long before any insurgents were in the complex. In July 1982, Harchand Singh Longowal, the President of the Sikh political party Akali Dal, had invited Bhindranwale to take up residence in the Golden Temple Complex to evade demolition of Sri Akal Takht Sahib. The government said that Bhindranwale later turned the sacred temple complex into an armoury and headquarters.

Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale was the fourteenth jathedar, or leader, of the prominent orthodox Sikh religious institution Damdami Taksal. He was an advocate of the Anandpur Sahib Resolution. He gained national attention after his involvement in the 1978 Sikh-Nirankari clash.

A gurdwara is a place of assembly and worship for Sikhs. Sikhs also refer to gurdwaras as Gurdwara Sahib. People from all faiths are welcomed in gurdwaras. Each gurdwara has a Darbar Sahib where the current and everlasting guru of the Sikhs, the scripture Guru Granth Sahib, is placed on a takhat in a prominent central position. The raagis recite, sing, and explain the verses from the Guru Granth Sahib, in the presence of the congregation.

Langar (Sikhism) Sikh community kitchen where a free meal is served to all visitors by volunteers

In Sikhism, a langar is the community kitchen of a gurdwara, which serves meals free of charge to all visitors—without making a distinction of religion, caste, gender, economic status or ethnicity. People sit and eat together, and the kitchen is maintained and serviced by Sikh community volunteers. Moreover, the meals are always vegetarian.

Guru Tegh Bahadur Ninth Guru of Sikhism

Guru Tegh Bahadur (Gurmukhi: ਗੁਰੂ ਤੇਗ ਬਹਾਦਰ, pronunciation: was a ninth of ten Gurus who founded the Sikh religion and he was head of the followers of Sikhism from 1665 until his beheading in 1675. He was born in Amritsar, Punjab, India in 1621 and was the youngest son of Guru Hargobind Sahib, the sixth Sikh guru. Not just a principled and fearless warrior, he was a learned spiritual scholar and poet whose 115 hymns are included in Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the main text of Sikhism.

Outline of Sikhism Overview of and topical guide to Sikhism

The following outline is provides an overview of Sikhism, or Sikhi.

Vaisakhi Major spring time Sikh festival, harvest and traditional new year festival for many Hindus

Vaisakhi, also pronounced as Baisakhi marks the beginning of Hindu solar New year. Vaisakhi marks the first day of the month of Vaisakha and is usually celebrated on 13 or 14 April every year. This holiday also is known as Vaisakha Sankranti and celebrates the Solar new year, based on the Hindu Vikram Samvat calendar. It is additionally a spring harvest festival for many Indians.

Anandpur Sahib City in Punjab, India

Anandpur Sahib, sometimes referred to simply as Anandpur, is a city in Rupnagar district (Ropar), on the edge of Shivalik Hills, Indian state of Punjab. Located near the Sutlej River, the city is one of the most sacred places in Sikhism, being the place where the last two Sikh Gurus lived, Guru Teg Bahadur Ji and Guru Gobind Singh Ji. this is the place where Guru Gobind Singh Ji founded the Khalsa Panth in 1699. The city is home to Kesgarh Sahib Gurdwara, one of the five Takhts in Sikhism.

Sikhism in India Religious community

Sikhism is the fourth largest religion in India contributing 1.7% of the population and has existed for 550 years, beginning with the birth of its founder Guru Nanak Dev. The Sikhs are predominantly located in Punjab, but also in many other parts of India. It is also the fifth largest organised religion in the world after Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism with more than 25-30 million followers worldwide who were also known as. But however according to rough estimates, there are around 120–150 million Nanak Naam Lewas people (Nanakpanthis) across the world who also believe in 10 Sikh Gurus and Guru Granth Sahib.

Sikhism in Canada Religious community

Canadian Sikhs number roughly 500,000 people and account for roughly 1.4% of Canada's population. Canadian Sikhs are often credited for paving the path to Canada for all South Asian immigrants as well as for inadvertently creating the presence of Sikhism in the United States. Sikhism is a world religion with 27 million followers worldwide, with majority of their population in Punjab, India. The Legislative Assembly of Ontario celebrates April as Sikh Heritage Month.

Bandi Chhor Divas

Bandi Chhor Divas is a Sikh celebration that commemorates the day the sixth Guru of Sikhs, Guru Hargobind was released from Gwalior Fort. Emperor Jahangir had held him at the Gwalior Fort for several months. A Sikh Gurdwara, Gurdwara Data Bandi Chhor Sahib, is located at the place of the Gurus internment in the Fort. The day falls in autumn and often overlaps with Hindu Diwali, the festival of lights celebrated across Punjab. Historically, from the time of the third Sikh Guru Amar Das, Sikhs and Hindus of the time used the occasion of Diwali, Vaisakhi and other such festivals to congregate at the seat of the Gurus. In the late 20th century, Sikh religious leaders and the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee formally adopted this day into the Nanakshahi calendar in 2003, under President Prof. Kirpal Singh Badungar the then president of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee.

Guru Nanak Founder of Sikhism

Guru Nanak, also referred to as Baba Nanak, was the founder of Sikhism and is the first of the ten Sikh Gurus. His birth is celebrated worldwide as Guru Nanak Gurpurab on Katak Pooranmashi, i.e. October–November.

Golden Temple Temple in Amritsar, India; the most sacred site in Sikhism

The Golden Temple, also known as Harmandir Sahib, meaning "abode of God" or Darbār Sahib, meaning "exalted court", is a gurdwara located in the city of Amritsar, Punjab, India. It is the preeminent spiritual site of Sikhism.

The Singh Sabha Movement was a Sikh movement that began in Punjab in the 1870s in reaction to the proselytising activities of Christians, Hindu reform movements and Muslims. The movement was founded in an era when the Sikh Empire had been dissolved and annexed by the colonial British, the Khalsa had lost its prestige, and mainstream Sikhs were rapidly converting to other religions. The movement's aims were to "propagate the true Sikh religion and restore Sikhism to its pristine glory; to write and distribute historical and religious books of Sikhs; and to propagate Gurmukhi Punjabi through magazines and media." The movement sought to reform Sikhism and bring back into the Sikh fold the apostates who had converted to other religions; as well as to interest the influential British officials in furthering the Sikh community. At the time of its founding, the Singh Sabha policy was to avoid criticism of other religions and political matters.

The Akali movement, also called the Gurdwara Reform Movement, was a campaign to bring reform in the gurdwaras in India during the early 1920s. The movement led to the introduction of the Sikh Gurdwara Bill in 1925, which placed all the historical Sikh shrines in India under the control of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC).

Sikhism prohibits idolatry, in accordance with mainstream Khalsa norms and the teachings of the Sikh Gurus, a position that has been accepted as orthodox.


  1. Richard James Popplewell (1995). Intelligence and imperial defence: British intelligence and the defence of the Indian Empire, 1904-1924. Frank Cass. p. 11. ISBN   978-0-7146-4580-3 . Retrieved 16 April 2011.
  2. Lois H. Gresh; Robert Weinberg (4 April 2008). Why Did It Have To Be Snakes: From Science to the Supernatural, The Many Mysteries of Indiana Jones. John Wiley and Sons. pp. 104–107. ISBN   978-0-470-22556-1 . Retrieved 16 April 2011.