Sikhism now an official religion in Austria
AMRITSAR: Sikhs of Austria will now be able to use Singh and Kaur after their forename, mention Sikhism as their religion, and register themselves as Sikhs after the Sikh religion was officially registered by the Austrian government.
While talking to TOI over the phone from Vienna on Monday, Jatinder Singh Bajwa, secretary Gurdwara Guru Nanak Dev Ji Parkash, 22nd District, Vienna, said now the Sikhs and their children would be able to use Singh and Kaur after their forenames which they earlier used to write in the ‘extra name’ column.
About the process of registration of Sikhism in Austria, he informed that there were seven gurdwara’s in Austria out of which three were in Vienna with one gurdwara each in Klagenfurt, Linz, Graz and Salzburg.
The gurdwara management committees of Austria then constituted a nine-member-committee of Sikh youth on November 1, 2019 who was entrusted with the task of pursing the registration process of the Sikh religion with the Austrian government.
Jatinder, the only professional Sikh chef in Vienna, informed that the committee prepared a ‘constitution’ on Sikh religion and their practices incorporating the values of Sikhism, Sikh guru’s, Akal Takht’s rehat maryada (religious code of Sikh living), significance of Sikh religious symbols, the value of 5 K’s in the life of a Sikh, their distinct identity, Sikh’s turban, etc. which was submitted with the Austrian government.
“On December 17 we received a letter informing about the registration of Sikhism in Austria and on December 23rd we held a thanksgiving prayer in the gurdwara” he said.
Reacting to the development, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee president Bibi Jagir Kaur said that “this is an important achievement attained with the efforts of sangat in Austria.”
“Now that Sikhism is registered in Austria, it will help in dispelling the myths of Sikh identity abroad,” said Kaur