Sikhs in Britain: The Making of a Community

September 12, 2023 By

Sikhs in Britain: The Making of a Community

Sikhs in Britain: The Making of a Community


The Sikh community in Britain has a rich history and a strong presence. Over the years, Sikhs have made significant contributions to various aspects of British society, including culture, economy, and politics. This article delves into the journey of Sikhs in Britain and highlights the factors that have shaped their community.

The Early Years: Migration and Settlement

When discussing the Sikh community in Britain, it is essential to understand the historical context of their migration. The first significant wave of Sikh immigrants arrived in Britain during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. These pioneers primarily came from the Punjab region of India and were seeking economic opportunities.

Initially, Sikhs faced numerous challenges in their new homeland. They encountered racism, discrimination, and cultural barriers. However, their resilience and determination allowed them to overcome these obstacles and establish themselves in British society.

Establishing Gurdwaras and Community Centers

One of the key aspects of building a strong Sikh community in Britain was the establishment of Gurdwaras, which are Sikh places of worship. These Gurdwaras not only provided a spiritual sanctuary for Sikhs but also served as community centers.

Within these Gurdwaras, Sikhs could come together, celebrate religious festivals, and engage in social activities. These centers played a crucial role in fostering a sense of belonging and unity among the Sikh community.

Contributions to British Society

The Sikh community in Britain has made significant contributions to various sectors, leaving a lasting impact on the country. Sikhs have excelled in fields such as business, education, healthcare, and the arts.

Business and Entrepreneurship

Sikhs have a strong entrepreneurial spirit, and many have successfully established businesses in Britain. From corner shops to large corporations, Sikhs have played a vital role in the British economy.

Education and Academia

Sikhs have also made significant contributions to the field of education. Many Sikh individuals have excelled academically and have become prominent figures in universities and research institutions.

Arts and Culture

The Sikh community has enriched British culture through its contributions to the arts. Sikh musicians, writers, and artists have showcased their talents and shared their unique perspectives, adding diversity to the cultural landscape of Britain.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How many Sikhs are there in Britain?

According to the latest census data, there are approximately 700,000 Sikhs in Britain.

2. Are Sikhs well-integrated into British society?

Yes, Sikhs have successfully integrated into British society while maintaining their distinct identity and cultural practices.

3. What are some famous Sikh landmarks in Britain?

The Golden Temple in Southall, London, and the Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Smethwick, Birmingham, are two prominent Sikh landmarks in Britain.


The Sikh community in Britain has come a long way since its early days of migration and settlement. Through their resilience, hard work, and contributions to various sectors, Sikhs have formed a vibrant and thriving community. Their journey serves as an inspiration and a testament to the power of unity and determination.