Wearing Your Faith: The Experiences of Four Individuals

I recently came across this CNN report of four individuals who discuss their experiences of wearing religious garments in the US. Two of the individuals are Sikh men (where are the Sikh women at) along with a Muslim woman and a Jewish man.

Ajitpal Singh Rania: Ajitpal lives in the Washington area and immigrated to the United States pre-9/11 into a college town. Aside from curious looks, he feels that he has not really been discriminated against as a Sikh wearing a turban because he arrived in a college town that was more open to diversity. Ajitpal also believes that educational workshops have helped many American learn more about Sikhs. Watch his video report here.

Syeda Martha Graham: Syeda of Kansas City, Missouri, converted to Islam and made a personal decision to not only wear a head scarf but also a face cover. Not wearing her head scarf makes her feel vulnerable, similar to how others feel about not wearing a top. She remembers an incident where a bank employee asked her to take her mask off; but another employee came to her defense. Syeda feels more people are nice than offensive. She also wishes people would assume less and ask more questions. Watch her video clip here.

Gregg Medeiros: As an orthodox Jew who wears a kippa (skull cap) and tzitzit (tassels o fringes worn at the waist) discusses how his religious garments are related to his faith. Gregg also explains how his religious garments cause people to give him reverence; however, this respect, initially, makes it difficult to have a human experience with others where his personality is the status-quo for interaction, rather than his physical appearance. Watch his video report here.

Ameek Sodhi: Ameek from Michigan explains the reasons why he has chosen to keep certain articles of faith. He also discusses the discrimination he has encountered post-9/11 as a school child. Kids have tried to grab his turban and people have thought that he does not speak English. He rather have people ask genuine questions than remain awkward around him. Watch his video clip here.


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