Increasing Racial Assaults Forcing Sikhs to Shed Turbans

November 25, 2006

Source: The Hindu

London, (PTI): Increasing numbers of racially-motivated attacks have forced some of the Sikh teenagers in Britain to shed their long hair and turbans, but many from the community also do so to fit in with their local surroundings.

While some groups in Britain believe that young, Westernised Sikhs have long been reluctant to adhere to traditional disciplines, Sikh students say that increasing numbers of racially-motivated attacks have had a significant impact on their attitudes.

Dalwinder Singh, an Executive board member of the student group said, "We do get a lot of young kids trimming their hair because they see how they are treated.

"For example, they find that they can't take part in certain things at school and they just don't want to stand out. And the attacks that have been in the news have definitely had an effect. Teenagers just want to fit in with what society is doing," he told The Times.

A spokesman for the Sikh Educational and Cultural Association agreed that young Sikhs cut their hair, but argued that recent assaults did not have had any special impact.