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Accepted Paper:

3HO or The Sikh Dharma of the Western Hemisphere.  
Sandra Santos-Fraile (Complutense University of Madrid)

Paper short abstract:

The 3HO movement and and their practitioners -gora sikhs- are the result of the reformulation of some principles and practices of traditional Sikhism that responds to Western needs and values but also avoid the conflicts and cultural clashes with the most traditional Sikhism.

Paper long abstract:

The 3HO movement was originated in the 1960s by a Sikh from India known as Yogi Bhajan. Bhajan was a visionary who combined his teaching in yoga with some precepts from the Sikh religion and the values of a healthy and holy life. His message quickly caught on in a white young middle-class, counter-culture audience in North America.

Through the practice of Kundalini Yoga and the emphasis on the avoidance of any toxic to the body, he offered a path to fulfillment and enlightenment through a rigorous yogic discipline and a healthy life.

His teachings begin to make impression on these young students who felt attracted to his way of life. His teachings combined meditation based on the Sikh scriptures, an egalitarian view of people and personal commitment, initiation into the khalsa and a rigid discipline that included vegetarian feeding and the prohibition of any intoxicants for the body, as well as of the practice of sex outside of marriage.

It is therefore a practice of Sikhism carried out by Westerners, whose number was already estimated at 250,000 followers in 1975. This practice is the result of the reformulation of some principles and practices of traditional Sikhism that fits the needs and an ideology of religion that responds to a greater extent to Western needs and values. And what is more, it allows to avoid the conflicts and cultural clashes that in the western countries arise with the most traditional Sikhism and their Hindu practitioners immigrated to Western countries.

Panel Reli03
Religious in idiosyncrasy. New religious movements in the 21st century [SIEF Ethnology of Religion Working Group]
  Session 1 Wednesday 17 April, 2019, -