The Five Ks Explained

A special thank you to Gurbani, Jujhar and Taaru, who came and explained to us about the articles of faith they wear everyday as a baptised Sikh – the 5 Ks.

Kes (long unshorn hair) & Keski (turban) Covering long hair with a turban helps to protect it from becoming tangled or coming into contact with pollutants. The turban is an article of faith that represents equality, honour, self-respect, courage, spirituality, and piety. The Sikhs regard the turban as an important part of the unique Sikh identity and helps a Sikh to be spotted amongst a crowd. A Sikh who wears a turban signal that he or she is always ready to put him- or herself forward to serve the community’s needs. It represents their commitment to equality, unity, and service. 

Kanga: Kanga is a wooden comb. It was to be the instrument of cleansing. A Sikh should wear the Kanga in his/ her hair and regularly comb his/ her hair to keep them clean and tidy. He will also use the Kanga to clean his beard. Kanga should be simple and right for the purpose. It should not be ornamental and worn as a piece of jewellery. The Kanga in his hair/ her hair will remind the Sikh that just as the hair need cleansing his/ her mind also should be cleansed through meditation. 

Kara: Iron bangle. The Kara worn on the hand that one uses most to encourage good actions and introduces the Khalsa to the notions of reflexivity, knowledge and power of God.

Kachera: Guru bestowed on the Khalsa the garment of modesty through the wearing of the Kachera. The Kachera has a draw string that is pulled tight around the waist to ensure that it does not fall down and expose the wearer to ridicule.does not fall down and expose the wearer to ridicule.

Kirpan: The Kirpan is a small sword that the Khalsa wears diagonally on his torso. The literal meaning of the word Kirpan is one who offers hope, blessing and refuge. The Kirpan shall remind him/ her of his/ her responsibilities to themselves and the community. In times of danger the Khalsa will know that he/ she is able to use the Kirpan as a weapon to defend oneself.

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