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Penang Punjabis

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Penang Punjabis form a minority ethnic group within the Indian community of Penang. Originating from Punjab in northern India, they were brought to the country during the British administration, and was employed in the civil serving, as administrators as well as policemen and security guards.

The majority of Punjabis arrived in Penang by way of Calcutta (now called Kolkatt), when was the main port city in Bengal (now composed of West Bengal and Bangladesh). For that reason, Punjabis along with all North Indians are referred by the local Hokkiens as Banggalis.

Khalsa Dharmic Jatha Sikh GurdwaraKhalsa Dharmic Jatha Sikh Gurdwara (1 August, 2010)


The majority of Punjabis profess the Sikh faith, although not all Punjabis are necessarily Sikhs. Nevertheless, in the local context, it is usually so, that most Punjabis are Sikhs and vice versa.

The place of worship for the Sikhs is the gurdwara. In addition to being the Sikh temple, it also functions as a lodging house for travellers. Apart from the holy sanctuary, the gurdwara is open to people of all faiths.

In Penang Island today, there are at least three gurdwaras. Of these, the bigger ones are Gurdwara Sahib Khalsa Dharmak Jatha on Brick Kiln Road and Khalsa Dharmic Jatha Sikh Gurdwara along Patani Road. There are also other smaller gurdwaras at other parts of Penang Island and Butterworth.

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