Caring for Sikh patients wearing a kirpan (traditional small sword): Cultural sensitivity and safety issues
Psychiatric Bulletin | Published : 2004
Devout Sikh men wear the kirpan (a traditional small sword) as part of their religious faith. The kirpan is one of five symbols of Sikhism (the five Ks described below). Many traditional Sikhs undergo the amrit ceremony, akin to baptism, following which they are meant to wear the five Ks at all times. Several legal controversies have emerged in the West, especially in the USA (Lal, 1999) and Canada (Wayland, 1997), over safety issues related to the kirpan, such as students wearing it to school or passengers wearing it during flights (for an overview of the recent cases, see www.sikhs.ca/kirpan).