Sikhism and America share the fundamental principles of integrity, hard work, and service, and both seek to uphold righteousness in the face of injustice
I follow the Sikh faith, which requires that I keep my hair long and wear a turban and beard. The ROTC recruiters said I would not be able to enlist unless I complied with all Army grooming and uniform rules.
I view marathon running as an incredible opportunity to counter negative stereotypes, raise money for charities, and build stronger communities.
Counselors play an even more important role in helping to give students a venue to articulate their identities, share their fears, or just vent. While this is true for any student, Hindu and Sikh students often are reluctant to speak out.
This means your appearance, your body language, and the way you carry yourself are identifiers of what you are about. Think of it like being the front cover of a book; the content could be extraordinary, but if it doesn't scream "pick me up!" only a select few actually will.
For Sikhs, the holiday is an occasion for a more politicized remembrance. On October 23, Sikhs celebrated Bandi Chhor Divas, or Prisoner Release Day.
A humor site with 797,000 Twitter followers posted a picture of me in my Trinity basketball jersey and maroon dastaar (it was a home game) with a caption that read: "I'm not guarding him. He's too explosive."
Mandeep Jangi of Middlesex, New Jersey, cites his Sikh faith as the "more visible aspect" of his identity. His decision to cut his hair (long hair is a traditional part of Sikh culture) was the first step to discovering his own individual identity.
He was a year younger than me, I note immediately. That's so very young, I say to myself. It saddens me because I enjoyed his work, all the way from his television days in the early 1980s to his recent, sporadic appearances on the big screen.
Imagine a life where you are not allowed to be creative and you have no idea that you are not living up to your full potential or that a better life is attainable? Despite our daily challenges, few reading this would ever be able to fully understand such a reality.
Sometimes when I'm not feeling like a longer walk to the coffee shop at the far end of our village, I venture into the one around the corner. It's a different crowd that frequents this café. I, and many like me, like coming here because of its better ambience.
For many Hindu Americans, the pain that Sikhs have felt hits close to home, in part because of both faith's shared history and because many Hindus and Sikhs in the United States have congregated in the same communities.
As Americans of all backgrounds continue to try to achieve the ideals of the Civil Rights Movement on the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, members of three growing religions in the United States have a unique opportunity to stand together for equality and shared human dignity.
As the first turbaned Sikh American to play basketball for an NCAA program, I knew I needed to voice my opinion when I learned Sikh players on India's team were told by FIBA they must remove their dastars before playing at the Japan-India game.
This internal memo is conclusive proof that even government officials hold a patently false view that turbans are associated with a dangerous "other" and a threat to American security and identity.
As a Sikh American, I am dumbfounded by the irresponsible Islamophobic discourse that took place on two recent Fox News national broadcasts, The O'Reilly Factor and Fox and Friends, in which Robert Bergdahl was criticized for his appearance, namely his beard.