Tej Pal Singh is a Sikh medical student. He describes the impact of his faith on his experience of medical school
- By: Tej Pal Singh
Proud to be both British and Sikh, I come from a family who believe that integration into British society at all levels without surrendering our Sikh identity is important. Although this is relatively easy for a medical student at university, growing up as a young Sikh lad did not come without its difficulties, especially in the playground--since the age of 12, I have worn a turban over my unshorn hair.
The turban is a symbol of royalty and dignity, which has historically been held in high esteem in Eastern cultures. However, Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the 10th Sikh Guru, transformed this cultural symbol into a religious requirement for Sikhs. This meant that the long unshorn hair, itself a symbol of spirituality and an acceptance of God's will, could be fully respected and kept tidy, but at the same time it made Sikhs easy to recognise.
This distinctive appearance probably makes