Sikh People

Sikh PeopleWorldwide, there are about 25.8 million Sikhs. Around 75% of Sikhs live in the Indian state of Punjab, where they are about 60% of the population. Large communities of Sikhs live in the neighboring states, and large communities of Sikhs can be found across India. Migration beginning from the 19th century led to the creation of significant communities in Canada (Brampton & Malton, Ontario; Surrey, British Columbia), the United Kingdom, the Middle East, East Africa, Southeast Asia and more recently, the United States, Western Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. Smaller populations of Sikhs are found in Mauritius, Pakistan, Nepal, Fiji and other countries.

Like the Hindus, many Sikhs are also divided along caste lines, although these divisions exist contrary to the teachings of Sikh Gurus. In addition to social divisions, there are a number of Sikh sectarian groups, such as Namdharis, Ravidasis, Nirankaris and Radhasoamis. These groups differ from orthodox Sikhism, and have their own religious and social organisations. Nihangs tend to have little difference in practice but are considered Sikhs proper by mainstream Sikhism. There is also a sect known as Udasi, founded by Sri Chand who were initially part of Sikhism but later developed into a monastic order.

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