A SIKH in the British Army has raised awareness of his faith in one of the most remote parts of the world by holding a “turban day” in the Falkland Islands.
Lance Corporal Manpreet Singh Lally, a communication system engineer in the Royal Signals currently posted to the British Forces South Atlantic Islands (BFSAI), demonstrated the tying and wearing of the traditional headdress to youngsters at Mount Pleasant School.
He said: “I organised the turban day in order to educate BFSAI personnel and their families about Sikhi, to tell the audience about the importance of the dastar [the Sikh turban], and to raise awareness about Sikh history. The event was the first time that a turban day has been celebrated in British Army history.”
LCpl Lally, assisted by SAC Sarah McGhin from the Royal Air Force, tied dastars during the morning of the event with material donated by Sarabjit Singh, a volunteer of the Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Bradford. The day was hosted by headmaster Gary Margerison and attended by the BFSAI Chief of Staff, Group Captain Jim Frampton and BFSAI Padre, Squadron Leader Rebekah Cannon.
They were among more than 50 people, including students, teachers and Service personnel, to wear a dastar, which is a new record for the Falkland Islands.
The event concluded with LCpl Lally delivering a presentation which discussed the importance of the dastar, contributions of Sikhs from all across the world and a brief look into Sikh history.
He also talked about the contribution of his faith’s soldiers in both World Wars – in which 83,005 Sikhs lost their lives – and finished by talking about his brother Ajay Singh, the taxi driver who made national headlines for his role in rescuing and transporting people injured people during the Manchester Arena terrorist attack.
Sukhdeep Singh, an educator for Basics of Sikhi, said: “It is great to see that in this most remote part of the world this Sikh has spent so much time and effort into ensuring he educates people on his faith.
“Sikhs can stand out so much that our physical identity, which was gifted to us by our Guru, can naturally prompt questions from those unfamiliar with Sikhi. This is why these events are important, so that people understand what the physical identity represents, and thus what they should think of when they see a Sikh.”