April 4th, 2023
April is Sikh Heritage Month in Canada. More than 500,000 Sikh people live in Canada, the second-largest Sikh population in the world.
Celebrated in Ontario since 2013 and across Canada since 2019, this month recognizes the significant contributions that Sikh Canadians have made to the social, economic, political and cultural fabric of the country.
Facts about Sikhism
- Sikhism is the fifth-largest religion in the world, with over 30 million followers.
- The Sikh faith was founded by Guru Nanak and shaped by his nine successors, during the 16th and 17th centuries in South Asia.
- The Sikh faith is one of the world’s youngest religions, founded just over 500 years ago.
- The word Sikh means “learner” in Punjabi.
- A Sikh temple is called a Gurdwara.
- In April, Sikhs celebrate Vaisakhi, also known as Khalsa Day. This day marks the creation of the Khalsa (Sikh community) and the Sikh articles of faith.
Resources for Students & Families
- The Education Guide on the Sikh Faith, written and produced by World Sikh Organization of Canada.
- The TDSB has created a three-part podcast series to mark Sikh Heritage Month this year. Episode 3 features Pam Kaur, WRDSB Superintendent of Student Achievement and Well-Being:
- Episode 1 looks at SEVA: Selfless Service (Episode 1 Transcript);
- Episode 2 discusses Oneness: Equity and Justice for All (Episode 2 Transcript);
- Episode 3 talks about Chardi Kala: External Resilience: Optimism and Joy (Episode 3 Transcript).