Amrit Sanskar (Baptism) and the Challenges in the Sikh Community in Malaysia

Aman Daima Md. Zain, Jaffary Awang


In the Malaysian context, the Sikh community is still categorised as the minority ethnic as compared to other ethnic groups. Their arrival in Malaysia (previously named Malaya) mid-19th century had formed a Sikh community with their own identity. This identity is known as panch kekaar or 5K’s comprising of five symbols which are Kesh (long hair), Kara (metal bracelet), Kirpan (small sword), Kachera (shorts) and Kangha (comb). All these five symbols are formed through a baptist ceremony called amrit sanskar during the leadership fo the last Sikh master named Guru Gobind Singh (1675-1708). Those who have undergone this amrit sanskar are accepted to become the solidarity members of Khalsa; those who are regarded as pure in the Sikh religion. However, in the Sikh community in Malaysia, this ceremony of amrit sanskar that seeks to form such an identity does have its own challenges and issues.Taken from several selected writings, there are three challenges that need to be resolved by the Sikh people in order to form their own identity. The challenges include the weakness of the Granthi Sahib, the weakness of the gurdwara management committee (JPG) and the clash of the local cultures. Among the objectives of this paper work is to share some information on the religion of the minority in Malaysia. This paper also concludes that the challenges that prevail in the formation of the Sikh identity will continue through amrit sanskar especially among the younger generation as long as the three issues remain unresolved.

DOI: 10.5901/ajis.2013.v2n8p50

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Academic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies ISSN 2281 3993(Print) ISSN 2281-4612(Online)

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