This book describes the key threads in the history of Sikhism, from the late 15th century to the present day. It examines the development of a distinct Sikh identity, and explores the meaning of Sikhism - its teachings, practices, rituals, and festivals. -;The Sikh religion has a following of over 20 million people worldwide and is one of the largest religions in the world. However, events such as the verbal and physical attacks on Sikhs just after September 11 indicated that Sikhs were being mistaken for Muslims, and suggests that the raising of sufficient and appropriate awareness about Sikhism still needs to be addressed.This book will introduce newcomers to the meaning of Sikhism, and its practices, rituals, and festivals. The key threads in the fascinating history of the religion will be highlighted, from the Gurus and the development of the Sikh look, to martyrdom and militarization in the 17th and 18th Centuries and the diaspora. Eleanor Nesbitt brings the subject completely up to date with an examination of gender and caste, referring to contemporary film, such as Bend It Like Beckham, and mediareports.