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Feminizing the Khalsa

TitleFeminizing the Khalsa
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsJakobsh, DR
JournalSikh Formations

The ‘marked body’ of the Sikh male has long been the normative means for understanding Sikhism at large. The highly visible Khalsa Sikh male, complete with external signifiers known as the 5Ks, and the accompanying turban, tend to characterize the Sikh community at large, both in the Indian homeland as well as within Sikh diasporic contexts. This paper examines processes of negotiation of Sikh female identity, in essence the religious particularization of Sikh women that is taking place through varied means on the WWW. The far-reaching effects of instant, ‘authoritative’ transmission of information, whether through interpretations of historical and/or sacred texts, access to personal narratives on a global/local scale, as well as the construction of identity through online images will be examined.