Training institute for turban tying to ensure Sikh identity not eroded

NEW DELHI, India: The turban worn by male Sikh followers is one of the important symbols of their religion.

And putting it on, does require certain skills.

So one man has started special classes to teach these skills to the younger generation.

Tying a six-metre piece of cloth on one's head definitely needs training and practice.

That is why every Sikh father teaches it to his son.

The turban reinforces the religious significance of headgear as described in the Sikh scriptures.

Nowadays, however, many young Sikhs prefer to keep their hair short and do away with the turban altogether.

Lukhwinder Singh fears that the traditional art of tying the turban may be lost.

A turban trainer, he said: "Most of the young Sikhs don't know how to wear the traditional headgear and have taken up to wearing caps or they get their hair trimmed. These guys often get hooked on some sort of addiction.

"So, I decided to teach them the art of tying turban. I don't charge any fee and make sure that the turban tying session begins with the recitation of a chapter from the holy Granth Sahib (holy book)."

Lukhwinder even makes housecalls to give personal sessions.

He's now created a name for himself and the training institute that he runs.

There used to be only a dozen shades of cloth for turbans.

But today, there are over 250 shades available in the market.

And as the headgear is an integral part of daily wear, turbans are colour coordinated with shirt and trousers.

Student Prabjot Singh said: "I have been wearing a turban for the last four to five years. The tradition of turban was initiated by Guru Gobind Singh and I believe that turban lends an edge to one's personality."

The turban is a matter of a Sikh man's religious identity. For Lukhwinder, he's trying to restore that very pride associated with the tradition and help the young resist the western influence. - CNA