Sikh Identity Formation: Generational Transfer of traditions in the Nordic Countries

Principal investigator: Kristina Myrvold (Lund University, Sweden)

Co-investigators: Knut A. Jacobsen (University of Bergen, Norway), Ravinder Kaur (Roskilde University, Denmark), Hanna Snellman (University of Jyväskylä, Finland)

Transfer of traditions and identity formation

The research project investigates generational transfer of traditions and identity formation processes among one visible minority group in the Nordic countries: the Sikhs from Punjab.

From the general presumption that migration implies reconstruction of identities, the project explores the various strategies by which Sikh migrants preserve and transmit religious, cultural and linguistic traditions and how the second generation Sikhs, i.e. children born of immigrant parentage, gravitate towards religious identification in attempts to carve out a place for themselves in the Nordic societies.

Creation of own cultural translations

The project brings together six scholars from Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and the UK who from a shared research framework explore the multiple forms of material and media being used for transmissions of traditions and how the second generation shapes understanding of individual and collective identities in relation to many different “cultural others” in the social fields of home, school, religious community and on the Internet
Based on research findings in international Diaspora studies, the project investigates how Sikh youth with transnational life-styles adapt more reflexive attitudes towards religion and identity and create their own cultural translations in order to negotiate between
contradictory perspectives surrounding them.

Ethnographic fieldwork methodological base

The methodological base is ethnographic fieldwork among Sikhs in the four Nordic countries and analyses of textual material used for educational and edifying purposes.
The project will contribute new knowledge of how migrants mobilize efforts to understand difference, maintain traditions, and fashion new identities on their journey to becoming true citizens of the multi-cultural societies.


More information about the project