Full recordShow full item record
AbstractThe main question of this paper is: ‘What is the form the Sikh religion has adopted in the Netherlands?’ I started research among the Sikhs in the Netherlands and studied literature about the developments of Sikhism in Canada to find an answer to this question. The results of the research on the Canadian Sikhs had the purpose to find out whether the difference between the developments in the Netherlands and those in Canada would shed new light on the situation in the Netherlands. During my research I used the model of Ninian Smart with its seven dimensions: (1) the practical and ritual dimension; (2) the emotional dimension; (3) the narrative or mythical dimension; (4) the doctrinal dimension; (5) the moral dimension; (6) the social or institutional dimension; and (7) the material dimension. I first looked at Sikhism in India to determine whether Sikhism in the Netherlands has taken a form different from the original shape the religion has in India. This research revealed that in Indian Sikhism the ten Gurus are important, with Guru Nanak as the first one, and its religious text, the Guru Granth Sahib. It is believed that the ten preceding Gurus live on in this text. All rituals and instructions can be found in the Guru Granth Sahib. Subsequently I focused on the situation of the Sikhs in the Netherlands. Dutch Sikhism can be divided into two groups: The Dutch-Indian Sikhs and the members of 3HO movement. I looked at the differences between members of 3HO and Sikhism in India and it turned out that differences could be found with all Smart’s seven dimensions. This can be linked to the fact that members of 3HO, next to the religious text and the rituals of Sikhism, also make use of yoga and mantras to come closer to God and to be released form reincarnation. Furthermore the 3HO members live together in an Ashram. All of them wear the outward characteristics of Sikhism, contrary to the Dutch-Indian Sikhs, of whom only the members of the Khalsa brotherhood have these outward characteristics. The Dutch-Indian Sikhs have undergone only a few changes compared to Sikhism in India. The changes that had taken place, were caused by the relative smallness of the Sikh community in the Netherlands and Dutch legislation. They can mostly be traced in the practical ritual dimension, such as accepting that a Sikh can marry a non-Sikh , and the material dimension such as the use of a gymnasium as gurdwara. The differences between 3HO and the Dutch-Indian Sikhs are therefore bigger than the differences between the Dutch-Indian Sikhs and the Sikhs in India. Finally I looked at whether developments such as can be found in the Netherlands can also be seen in Sikhism in Canada. Both these countries have been through a similar development due to immigration to a modern multicultural country. Yet, there are quite some differences to be found between the Netherlands and Canada, which can be attributed to the fact that there is a much larger Sikh community in Canada. Next to that a conflict has arisen between the old and the new generations. This conflict is absent among the Dutch Sikhs. The conflict arose because the older generation clings to the oral transference of their religion, whereas the new generation has many questions about the religion and by their own inquiry sees a difference between the oral transmission and the belief according to Guru Granth Sahib. The answer to the main question is that Sikhism with Dutch-Indian Sikhs has changed little compared to the original Sikhism in India. The members try to remain as close as possible to the instructions of the Guru Granth Sahib, and only when it is necessary because of the Dutch context will they introduce small alterations. 3HO, also known as the western Sikhs, differ far more from Sikhism in India and therefore also from Sikhism as practised by the Dutch-Indian Sikhs. This can mainly be traced to the fact that they attach great importance to the use of yoga and mantras within religion, to a life in Ashrams and to the use of special rituals.