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Sikhs have been a part of the American landscape for more than 130 years.

First Immigrants

At the turn of the 19th century, many Sikhs began arriving to work on California farms. The state of Punjab was hit hard by British practices of mercantilism. They came via Hong Kong to Angel Island, California(the Western Ellis Island)[1]

First Jobs

"Some Sikhs worked in lumber mills of Oregon or in railroad construction and for some Sikhs it was on a railway line, which allowed other Sikhs who were working as migrant laborers to come into the town on festival days."[2] Now Sikhs are a rich community in United States.

First Sikh Gurdwara in United States

"The first Sikh Gurdwara was built in Stockton, California; the Gurdwara was created in 1912 with joint efforts of Sardar Basakha Singh and Bhai Jawala Singh. It was in September of 1912 when land was purchased on South Granth Street in Stockton for the use of the Gurdwara. A small frame house that was already standing on the lot was used as the main building of the Gurdwara. This building still stands still where a library is now implemented. A Nishan Sahib was also hoisted for the first time at the Gurdwara. Baba Vasakha Singh and Baba Jawala Singh Thathian of Amritsar Sahib were appointed as the first Granthi Singh Jis of the Gurdwara."[3]

Sikh Populations in America

The largest Sikh population in America would be in Yuba City, California. The rest of the Sikh population is spread out in America among such places as Stockton, California, Richmond Hill, Queens, New York, Española, New Mexico, Chicago, Seattle, Washington, Detroit, and Oregon. Most Sikhs of Española, New Mexico are Caucasian converts to Sikhism. They adhere very strictly to Sikhism.

Sikhs in the United States total over 500,000 with approximately 100,000 of these living in California. Sikhs are the second largest religion in the Yuba City area. 15,000 Sikhs live in the Sacramento area and there are seven Sikh temples or gurdwaras. [4]

Sikh Professionals in the United States

Most of the Sikhs started life in America as farm laborers, many of them finally became landowners and successful farmers. In 1956, Dalip Singh Saund became the first East Indian born person to be elected to the US House of Representatives. At present Amarjit Singh Buttar is perhaps the only turbaned Sikh who holds elected public office. He was elected in December 2001 to the Vernon, Connecticut ,Connecticut Board of Education for a four-year term. He has also been recently selected as the Chairman of the Board. A number of Sikhs, who came in 1960s, received higher education at various Universities in USA. Many of them are now Department Heads or Deans at various Universities. A number of Sikhs are physicians of high repute in almost all specialty fields of medicine. Hundreds of Sikhs hold managerial positions in engineering fields in various engineering firms including the technology and automobile industry. Dr. Narinder Singh Kapany is known as the father of fiber optics because of his exceptional research in this field. He also established a Kapany Chair of Sikh Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1998.[5]


  1. The Pioneers, America, "A historical perspective of Americans of Asian Indian origin 1790-1997" 31 October 2006
  2. Sikhism in North America, America, "Sikhs in North America" 31 October 2006
  3. Stockton Gurdwara,America, "Stockton California" 31 October 2006
  4. Investigating Anti-Sikh Discrimination in a Post 9/11 World
  5. Sikh Spectrum, America, "Sikhs In America : Stress And Survival" 04 September 2002
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Sikhism in the USA. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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