India | Punjab

Nam Karan

Nam Karan is the naming ceremony of a newborn Sikh child. This ceremony, accompanied by religious rites and pomp, is usually held in a Gurdwara.

On the day the ceremony, the parents and relatives of the child recite hymns from Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of Sikhs. The family members prepare the Kara Parshad (sacred pudding). Amrit (sweetened water) is fed to the child and the mother. The Sikh holy symbol is painted on the tongue of the child using the amrit, to welcome it to the Sikh fold. A Hukam, which is the recital of a hymn from a randomly selected page of the holy book, takes place. The first letter from the first word of the recited verse is selected as the starting part of the child’s name. A suitable name based on the letter is chosen and announced to the assembled people.

In Sikh religion, there is no distinction between a male or female name. A suffix ‘kaur’ is attached to the girl's name, while ‘singh’ is attached to the end of a boy's name.

Updated on 3rd January, 2015


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