Sikh Baby Names - How to choose the right one for your child
The Namkaran ceremony in India is a momentous occasion for the family. Read on to know more about the ceremony, the meaning behind popular Sikh baby names and how to choose the right one for your baby!
Sikhism is a modern religion which has a contemporary outlook. The religion believes in a single God but does not believe in the doctrine that God takes a human form. The religion believes all human beings to be equal and does not ask its followers to discard family life in order to attain salvation.
Choosing a name for a Sikh boy or girl
The naming ceremony for Sikh baby names starts with the family and relatives gathering in the holy Gurdwara. The Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of the Sikh religion, is then opened randomly. The first letter of the page will be the first letter of the baby’s name. Sometimes a word from a holy verse is also chosen as a name.
A Sikh baby name will have a first name, middle name and last name. The first name may end in preet, pal, want, deep, etc. Some examples are Harpreet, Kulwant and Kuldeep. The first names are common for both sexes, so both a Sikh boy and a girl may be named Kuldeep.
The second name denotes the gender. For the surname, a baby girl will have Kaur, while a baby boy will have Singh. If there is, however, a name carried over for the family for generations, this family name becomes the surname and Kaur/Singh becomes a middle name.
Sikh baby names and their meaning
Most Sikh baby names indicate devotion to God. Kaur means princess, while Singh means lion.
It is interesting to note that Sikhism denounces the caste system. For this reason, it is a common practice in the community to share middle names. The whole community is seen as equal and there is no differentiation based on caste.
Click “Next page” for information on the naming ceremony, plus a list of popular Sikh baby names…
The Namkaran (naming) ceremony
The baby naming ceremony known as Namkaran is considered a very important ritual in the Sikh community. The ceremony is the occasion for the family to celebrate as they choose a Sikh baby name for the newborn. Religion plays an important part here, since Sikh baby names are derived from the Guru Granth Sahib.
When the newborn is around six weeks old, the close family gathers in the Gurudwara to choose the first letter of the Sikh baby name. Once the letter is chosen from the Guru Granth Sahib, the family might announce a name there itself or might chose to think it over and come up with a suitable Sikh baby name in the forthcoming days.
Once the name is decided upon, the Sikh baby name is announced after being added with the suffix of Kaur or Singh. This is approved by the audience by shouting the holy cheer, “Jo bole so nihal…Sat siri akal,” which means, “Whoever utters the praise of the Lord will be fulfilled by his divine blessings.”
The ceremony is marked by singing praise to God and thanking Him for the newborn. The ceremony concludes with all the gathered members having Karah Prasad.
Popular Sikh baby names are:
If you still have no idea what to name your newborn, below is a short list of popular names and their meanings to choose from.
- Ashish: holy blessing
- Amar: invincible
- Gagan: Sky
- Gurdev: Lord
- Sarabjit: one who wins all
- Hardeep: one who loves God
- Gurukiran: light of the Almighty
- Jogindar: uniting with the Lord
- Kiran: ray of light
- Paramjit: one who has won all
- Adarshpreet: lover of ideals
- Adish: foremost
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: INDU ROY
If you have any insights, questions or comments regarding the topic, please share them in our Comment box below.