Difference Between Punjabi and Sikh

Punjabi vs Sikh

Punjab is a northern state in India that is known all over the world because of its Punjabi culture and language. However, it also happens to be a state that is dominated by Sikhs, people that have a faith different than Hinduism. Sikhism is a religion and Sikhs are its adherents. The reason why people in western countries remain confused between a Punjabi and a Sikh is because of the fact that Sikhs are Punjabis. However, there are many differences between a Punjabi and a Sikh that will be highlighted in this article.


A Punjabi is a Punjabi whether he lives in the state of Punjab in India or US or Canada. In fact, Punjabis happen to be the most colorful people from India, boisterous and having a typical style of speaking that is popular all over the world. Punjabi also happens to be the language spoken by people living in Punjab. A Hindu living in Punjab is a Punjabi and so is a gursikh though he wears a turban and follows a different religion. Hindus and Sikhs take part in karseva in Gurudwaras all over the state, and it is hard to find a difference between them except of course the beard and turban of the Sikhs.


A Sikh is a follower of the religion called Sikhism. Sikhs are found in majority numbers, in the Indian state of Punjab. Sikh population in India is about 16 million or about 2% of the total population of the country. However, Sikhs are found in very high numbers in Indian armed forces and in Police service. The founder of Sikhism was Guru Nanak who was himself a Hindu. Sikh religion is famous because of its 5K’s that are kesh, kachcha, kripan, kangha, and kada. These 5 things are considered essential for a Sikh, and he cannot cut his hair all his life. Though the language spoken by Sikhs happens to be Punjabi, it is Gurmukhi that is the script of the language.

What is the difference between a Punjabi and a Sikh?

• It is said that you can take a Punjabi out of Punjab, but you cannot take out Punjabiyat from a Punjabi. This is a saying that is enough to emphasize the importance of the language and the culture of Punjab that can be seen in all Punjabis around the world.

• Sikh is a person who follows the religion called Sikhism and observes 5K’s

• A Sikh wears a turban and cannot cut hair all his life

• Sikh also needs to keep a beard

• A Sikh living in Punjab is a Punjabi, but a Sikh born in the southern part of India is not necessarily a Punjabi

• All Punjabis are not Sikhs and all Sikhs are not Punjabis

• Sikhs are in majority, in the Indian state of Punjab though there is also a Pakistani Punjab and people living there are also called Punjabis

• Punjabi Hindus go to their temples, as well as Gurudwaras whereas Sikhs pray in Gurudwaras only

• The great Gama Pehelwan (wrestler), as well as Wasim Akram, are Punjabis though they are not Sikhs but Muslims

• Kalpana Chawla, the astronaut was a Punjabi, whereas Manmohan Singh is both a Punjabi as well as a Sikh