Long and winding tale of the turban as a religious symbol

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Kanwar Singh, a kickboxer, is among the Sikhs who feature in the book Kanwar Singh, a kickboxer, is among the Sikhs who feature in the book

As children in Southall, west London, Naroop Johooti and Amit Amin were used to observing the Sikh men in their families in turbans and beards setting off to the gurdwaras (where Sikhs worship). Having started their own photography studio and made their name shooting celebrities — such as the singer Tinie Tempah and the comedian Ricky Gervais — they decided it was time for a different project: portraits of ordinary Sikh men like their fathers, uncles and grandfathers in Britain and the US.

“It was 2013 and we noticed beards were suddenly cool all over London,” says Naroop. “At first we just wanted to show people how Sikhs have had their identity of wearing beards and turbans for hundreds of years.”

However, as their portrait…

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