This paper will attempt to outline a possible framework that can be used to a) understand the importance of Sikh art, b) recognise Sikh art, and c) make critical judgements on the validity and importance of any given piece of Sikh art.
Religion, or indeed any philosophy that forms the basis of how people live their life, is often at odds with cultural values and norms. Thus it is important not to confuse all forms of cultural manifestations as necessarily being integral to religious practices and beliefs of the group. Cultural values may also include memories and traditions borrowed from other societies and religions. The Sikh community often sees culture as separate from Sikhi, and on occasion opposed to Sikh values; the values of South Asian culture such as ostentatious weddings, the acceptance of the caste system, and nepotism are a sharp contrast to Sikh ideology.
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