CEREMONIES PERTAINING TO BIRTH AND NAMING OF CHILD
The Sikh naming or christening ceremony is well established and it takes place in a Gurudwaras in the presence of relatives and friends. The family offers donations, Karah Parshad and a Rumala, which is a covering for Guru Granth Sahib, made of high quality silk, cotton or embroidered cloth. Prayers are offered asking for a special blessing of good health, long life and the Sikh way of life, Gursikhi for the child.
After reciting Ardas, Guru Granth Sahib is opened at random. The first letter of the first word of the hymn on the page is selected as the first letter of the child’s name. The given name is common for either sex. The word Kaur meaning ‘princess’ is added after a girl’s name and the name Singh meaning ‘lion’ after a boy’s. For example, if the first letter is “P”, the male child may be given a name like Partap Singh, Pritam Singh or Puran Singh or any other such name beginning with the letter “P”. If the newly born is a girl the name would like wise be, Partap Kaur, Pritam Kaur or Puran Kaur.
When the name is selected by the family, the congregation gives approval by a holy cheer or Jaikara: ‘Bolay So Nihal! Sat Siri Akal!’