Religions in Norway: Sikhism / Columns / The Foreigner

Religions in Norway: Sikhism. The story of the arrival of Sikhism in Norway reads like an adventure novel in part. It begins in the late 1960s, when adventuresome young Sikhs in Punjab who had finished their studies sought to travel and experience the world before getting a job and settling down. Those who headed for Norway knew little about the country, save that it was famed as ‘the land of the midnight sun’. The first adventuresome Sikh was Amarjit Singh Kamboz, who left Punjab and settled in Oslo in 1969. Another Sikh arrived couple of months later.

norwayreligion, religioninnorway



The Foreigner Logo

The Foreigner is an online publication for English speakers living or who have an interest in Norway. Whether it’s a glimpse of news or entertainment you’re after, there’s no need to leave your linguistic armchair. You don’t need to cry over the demise of the English pages of Aftenposten.no, The Foreigner is here!

Norske nyheter på engelsk fra Norge. The Foreigner er en engelskspråklig internett avis for de som bor eller som er interessert i Norge.

Google+ Google+ Twitter Facebook RSS RSS



Columns Article

LATEST:

}

Religions in Norway: Sikhism

Published on Tuesday, 13th August, 2013 at 07:10 under the columns category, by M. Michael Brady.
Last Updated on 13th August 2013 at 08:51.

The story of the arrival of Sikhism in Norway reads like an adventure novel in part.

Sikh wearing turban
Sikh wearing turban
Photo: Harkanwal Singh(Wikimedia Commons


It begins in the late 1960s, when adventuresome young Sikhs in Punjab who had finished their studies sought to travel and experience the world before getting a job and settling down. Those who headed for Norway knew little about the country, save that it was famed as ‘the land of the midnight sun’.

The first adventuresome Sikh was Amarjit Singh Kamboz, who left Punjab and settled in Oslo in 1969. Another Sikh arrived couple of months later.

Sikhs and other work-related immigrants from India to Norway founded The Indian Welfare Society of Norway (IWS) in 1971. The IWS not only provided contacts but also arranged social events that focused on Indian culture. The rudiments of culture in place, the new immigrants turned to religion and established the first Gurudwara (‘Congregation’).

At the same time, two young Sikhs set out on a trip unequalled to this day. Tarlochan Singh Badyal and T. Rampuri cycled out of Punjab in 1971 with the intent of biking through Asia and Europe to spend five years spreading the messages of peace and cooperation. They arrived in Norway just after the last passenger ship bound for England had departed in the autumn of 1973. They pondered alternative ways of continuing on to England, but were offered jobs within a few days.

So they stayed on for a few more months.

The months became years. They settled down. One of the bikers, Tarlochan Singh Badyal, became a successful businessman: first with a travel agency, then with a centre for Ayurveda traditional Indian medicine that opened in 2012.

Sikhism is well settled today, and more than 5,000 Sikhs are permanent residents of the country. There now are two Sikh temples. Both are in the east, one at Oslo’s Alnabru founded in 1983, the other at Lier near Drammen, This was opened in April 2010 in a festive ceremony attended by 1,000 Sikhs and covered by Radio Punjab. There is a Sikh youth organisation, Ungesikher, that helps young Sikhs assimilate and has incentives to help make Sikhism better known.

Nonetheless, the general public seems to know little about Sikhs, save that male and some female Sikhs wear turbans. Knut A. Jacobsen, University of Bergen professor of the science of religion, has done much to dispel that lack of knowledge, however.

He has published two books. His first is a textbook in Norwegian for schools, Sikhismen: historie tradisjon og kultur (‘Sikhism: history, tradition and culture’) [Kristiansand, Høyskoleforlag 2007, ISBN 978-8276346763) in 2007. Second is a landmark reference book, Sikhs in Europe [Surrey, Ashgate, 2011, ISBN 978-1409424345]. The first of three parts is devoted to Sikhs in Northern Europe, starting with Sikhs in Norway.

Facts:

  • Membership: more than 5000 residents in country, of which 1133 are registered in communities (Statistics Norway 2012).
  • 3 Gurudwara (‘Congregations’).
  • Further information available from the Congregations: Gurudwara Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, Alnabruveien 3, 0668 Oslo, Tel 22645272, Bergen Singh Sabha Gurudwara, Inndalsveien 57, 5063 Bergen, Tel 55186737, and from Sri Guru Nanak Niwas, Nøstevien 78, 3400 Lier, Tel: 32852000.

Editor’s note: We hope you have enjoyed our series on religions in Norway. We invite readers to read previous articles: The Lutheran Church, Catholicism, Islam, Judaism, Orthodoxy, Methodism, the Baptist Church, Seventh-day Adventism, The Mormon Church, Jehova’s Witnesses, the Brunstad Christian Church, Pentecostalism, the Quakers, Anglicanism, the American Lutheran Church, the Swedish Church, the German Community, the Salvation Army, Humanism, Bahá’í, Buddhism, and Hinduism.



Published on Tuesday, 13th August, 2013 at 07:10 under the columns category, by M. Michael Brady.
Last updated on 13th August 2013 at 08:51.

This post has the following tags: norwayreligion, religioninnorway.





  
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!