Men Use their Sacred Turbans to Save Lives

November 25, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. turban / ˈtɜr bən / (n.) – a headdress worn by men for religious purposes
Example: The men are required to wear their turbans everywhere.

2. drowning / ˈdraʊn ɪŋ / (adj.) – describes someone who is unable to breathe while underwater
Example: Emma jumped in the pool to save the drowning boy.

3. unravel / ʌnˈræv əl / (v.) – to take apart something that is tied together
Example: They unraveled the rope to release the trapped animal.

4. piety / ˈpaɪ ɪ ti/ (n.) – respect of religious beliefs
Example: Her clothing is her way of showing piety.

5. heroic / hɪˈroʊ ɪk / (adj.) – showing courage
Example: The government wants to acknowledge his heroic act.


Read the text below.
Two men from India broke their religious tradition to save lives.

Even though the Sikh religious code does not allow the removal of turbans in public, Inderpal Singh and Kamalpreet Singh both removed theirs and used them to pull drowning teens out of a canal. The incident occurred at a Ganesha idol immersion. While the teenagers were immersing the idols into the canal, four of them slipped and fell from the canal bridge and called out for help.

Inderpal initially threw some wire for the teenagers to hold on to, but it wasn’t enough. It was then that he unraveled his turban and tossed it at them. Kamalpreet then came in to help and did the same thing with his turban.

For Sikhs, the turban is a symbol of strength, piety, and independence. It is one of the five articles of their faith. Sikhs usually only remove their turbans when they are either at home, or somewhere private, as their religious code does not allow them to remove their turbans in public.

Earlier this year, a similar heroic act occurred in New Zealand. A video of Harman Singh, a 22-year-old bakery delivery driver in Auckland, went viral. In the video, he is shown removing his turban and using it as a neck sling to help a young boy who got hit by a car. The accident occurred outside Singh’s house in Auckland. Originally from India, Singh is in New Zealand to pursue his studies.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         What do you think about the two men breaking religious code to save lives?
·         If you were Inderpal or Kamalpreet, would you have done the same thing? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         What are the most common religions in your country?
·         What religious practices do you know of?

November 25, 2015