Today, there is a growing ignorance and misunderstanding about the role and purpose of the turban – Sikhs have been racially abused in public and harassed at airports and abroad. And since 9/11, the turban has become a symbol of fear because of the image of jihadist terrorists who wear them. Turban-wearers have even been targeted, most recently at a shooting at a Sikh place of worship in Wisconsin (August 2012).
Our response is to raise awareness by showcasing the turban in its various colourful forms, narrating the issues affecting wearers and telling the story of the evolution of the turban throughout history.
For many Sikhs worldwide, beneath this modern misconception is a rich and colourful history of integration. From the last Maharaja of Panjab – Duleep Singh who moved to England to those that fought in various conflicts and the two World Wars with their turban as their only protection, through to the successful Turban Rights Movement of the 1980’s in Great Britain and the modern equivalent to establish these rights in Europe and the United States: the turban is the symbol of a successful, rich, affluent positive and pro-active community.
This website features the touring exhibition “Turbanology: Sikhs Unwrapped” funded by the Arts Council and research and work from the “Turbanology: Guide to Sikh Identity” book.
Please utilise, appreciate and share this online resource to raise awareness of the turban and Sikh identity.