Smithsonian Exhibit on Display in Texas Educates About Sikh Culture
The traveling exhibit about the Sikh religion and culture, “Sikhs: Legacy of the Punjab,” is on display at the Institute of Texan Cultures.
“Sikhs: Legacy of the Punjab” is a traveling exhibit hosted by the Institute of Texan Cultures in San Antonio until January 2016. At a time in which discrimination and racism is at a high, particularly towards those of the Sikh and Muslim religions, the exhibit is one of the biggest steps towards educating the United States about Sikhs.
— Lakhpreet Kaur (@LakhpreetK) February 20, 2015
The permanent exhibit was commissioned by the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C. and originally opened in 2004.
Dr. G.P. Singh, one of the first Sikhs to move to San Antonio in the 1970s, explained that the exhibit coming to Texas fulfills one of his biggest dreams. He has grown a family and a business in the U.S., watching as the Sikh community grew to the 5th largest religion in the world, “but nobody knows about [his] faith.” He feels that the exhibit explains his religion perfectly, leaving nothing out.
“Sikhs: Legacy of the Punjab” gives out information pertaining to a wide range of Sikh aspects. Among these sections include justice, service, love, community and tolerance. There is a large section that covers the importance of military service in the Sikh community. In fact, hundreds served, and died, in American wars, alongside those of other faiths and beliefs. However, they have been barred from serving due to the rules the military holds on hair and turbans.
Sikhism is a unique religion and culture. The origins of the faith stem from India, the Punjab region. Everyone serves an important role, and the faith primarily preaches acceptance, tolerance and love among the community and anyone outside of it. Leaders of the Sikh community have worked alongside the museum to educate others on the Sikh culture. A number of Sikh Culture videos have been created by the Institute of Texan Cultures that offer perspective on this religion, their values and the role of women, and the overall experience of a Sikh in Texas.