For the Media - Style Guide and Glossary

When writing about Sikhi (commonly, but inaptly called Sikhism), please follow these guidelines:

  • Adherents of the faith are referred to as Sikhs. Sikh is pronounced sik-kh (“kh” should be pronounced as in Mikhail), not seek or seekh.
  • When referring to the Sikh place of learning and worship, the proper term is "Gurduara". Terms such as church or temple are discouraged. Also, the faith allows worship to take place anywhere – not just in a gurduara.
  • Both men and women are given the same rights and requirements in Sikhism. Please refrain from saying "Sikh men are required to…" Instead simply say "Sikhs are required to …"
  • The Sikh scriptural canon, known as the Guru Granth Sahib, is not to be referred to as a book.
  • The 5 Sikh articles of faith are kanga, kirpan, kachera, kara, kes. When describing the kirpan do not refer to it as a "knife" or a "weapon". A kirpan, if it needs to be translated to something, should be referred to as "one of the articles of the faith".
  • Sikhi should always be defined as a “unique revealed religion” – not a cult or combination of any other faith.
  • Sikhs initiated into the faith are referred to as ammritdhari, not “baptized”. You can also say that they have “taken ammrit”.

The Sikh religion is a unique religion. It was revealed by One Universal Creator (commonly God, but Sikhi uses the attributes to identify the Divine) through the Sikh Gurus (ten prophets). "Sikhi is is neither a syncretism, an amalgam and intellectual extraction from other religions and creeds nor a sect of Hinduism or Islam as has been variously asserted from time to time by numerous authorities. It is an autonomous, independent religion, complete and whole, with its validity inhering in its own revelations and proclamations such as are repeatedly made in the Sikh Scripture, its pious literature and its historical movement."


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