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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Let's Meet at the Langar: How the Sikh Community has Persevered and Thrived in the US


Despite being the fifth largest religion in the world, Sikhism continues to be misunderstood. This research looks at the diaspora of Sikhs, specifically from Punjab to the United States of America. The goal is to illustrate the components of their experience – when, why, and how they came, along with reasons why Sikh struggles have eventually developed into triumphs. It is clear that a focus on community has been an overarching theme of their resolute success. However, that community has experienced nuances of division within itself, due to developing relationships with tradition that inevitably follow diaspora and modernization. Misplaced strife faced in the aftermath of 9/11 is also examined. Research was drawn primarily from academic writings and articles, government documents, a joint study by the Stanford Peace Innovation Lab and Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund, and personal interactions with Sikhs. By understanding the Sikh Diaspora, one is able to view a case study of where globalization, tradition, and modernization meet.

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