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March 25, 2010 / Wendy Joan

Sikhs in America, Americans in the Punjab

NPR: Sikhs Regain Right To Wear Turbans In U.S. Army

Darren Abate/AP

U.S. Army Capt. Tejdeep Singh Rattan is making history.

This week, Rattan, who is an American Sikh, completed his nine-week basic officer training course at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio — making him the first American Sikh officer in the U.S. Army in more than 25 years.

While Sikhs used to serve in the Army while observing their religion’s requirements for wearing turbans and not shaving their hair and beards, the Army eliminated the exemption in 1984. . .

Who knew? Listen to the full story here. Below, some photos from the Golden Temple, Amritsar, and the Punjab, India, from summer 2007.

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Entrance to the Golden Temple, Amritsar.

Frenchman in the foreigners hostel.

Golden Temple by night.

Indian border patrol, Wagah.

Crowd in India, changing of the guard ceremony, Wagah.

Crowd in Pakistan, changing of the guard ceremony, Wagah.

(Amritsar photos by Wendy Joan Biddlecombe and Marc Pourroy.)

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