Turban Day Act

The Turban Day Act is a Canadian Act the bill of which was introduced by Diljeet Singh Brar, the MLA of Burrows as a private member bill. The bill was passed in the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba in Canada unanimously with no opposition. The act makes the 13th of April of every year a Turban Day. The turban is officially recognised as a component of Canada’s diversity and culture on this day.

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About Turban Day Act

The Turban Day Act had been introduced as a private member’s bill in the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba. On March 24th 2022, the Bill received its first reading, followed by a second reading on April 7th and the third reading on May 26th. On June 1st, it received the Royal Assent. Despite the fact that the New Democratic Party (NDP) is the primary opposition party in the Manitoba legislature, the Bill passed unanimously. Each year, April 13th is to be recognised across Manitoba as Turban Day, according to the Act. It goes on to say that the turban is significant not only as a religious symbol of ultimate faith for the Sikh community but also as a statement of respect and dignity. Providing the turban official status would also help to raise awareness about the bigotry that Sikhs still suffer in Canada, according to the Act.

Significance of 13th April

The birth of the Khalsa Panth is commemorated on Baisakhi or Vaisakhi, which occurs on April 13th or 14th every year. On this day in the year of 1699, the 10th Sikh Guru, Gobind Singh, established the Khalsa Panth amongst his adherents at Anandpur Sahib. Baisakhi is an important event commemorating the founding of the Khalsa Panth.
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Significance of Turban Day Act

Despite contributing significantly to Canada’s growth and being a vital member of society, Sikh Canadians continue to experience racism and discrimination on a variety of levels, therefore a day that formally recognises the turban as a component of Canada’s multiculturalism and diversity was long overdue. Sikhs make up only 1.4 per cent (about five lakhs in number) of Canada’s population, but they hold important positions in the government and political institutions. Canada is still the most popular immigration choice for Punjabis, not just Sikhs. Turban Day now being an officially recognised day will help Canadian Sikhs increase their awareness of the role and importance of the Turban and rule out any confusion or misconceptions. This will in the long run reduce acts of violence and racism against them.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Turbans and Patka:

Why do Sikhs wear turbans?

Among the Sikhs, the dastār is an article of faith that represents equality, honour, self-respect, courage, spirituality, and piety. The Khalsa Sikh men and women, who keep the Five Ks, wear the turban to cover their long, uncut hair (kesh). The Sikhs regard the dastār as an important part of the unique Sikh identity.

Can a Sikh remove his turban?

The turban is one of five articles of faith worn by Sikhs, representing spirituality, honour and piety. According to the religious tenets of Sikhism, it should not be removed in public and can only be taken off in the privacy of the home.

What turbans symbolize?

The symbolism of wearing a turban are many from it being regarded as a symbol of sovereignty, dedication, self-respect, courage and piety but the reason all practising Sikhs wear the turban is just one – out of love and obedience of the wishes of the founders of their faith.

What is a Sikh patka?

Sikh men wrap their long hair with a turban called a pagri, a practice that typically takes 10- 15 minutes. Sikh boys wrap their hair in a smaller under-turban called a patka, with their hair knotted on top of their heads.

Do female Sikh wear turbans?

Turbans are an important part of the Sikh identity. Both women and men may wear turbans. Like the articles of faith, Sikhs regard their turbans as gifts given by their beloved gurus, and their meaning is deeply personal.

What happens in Dastar Bandi?

A very important and exciting event in the life of a Sikh boy is when he starts tying the turban. In a Sikh family, this ceremony is held normally when the boy is between 11 to 16 years old. It is usually held in a Gurudwara before the Guru Granth Sahib and following Ardas. It is called Dastar Bandi.

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