Kids Corner

Below, all images are creations by, and copyright of Canadian artist, Jaipreet Singh.


The Khanda Contest
Deadline: Feb 15 2009



The Khanda is the corporate logo, if you will, of the collective Sikh community around the globe. It follows Sikh presence no matter where we go, what we do ...

It adorns our gurdwaras, our homes and workplaces, our literature, our art and artifacts, our jewelry, our cars - even the T-shirts we wear at play or leisure!

Its origin remains unknown. Many theories abound, but good and proper research on the subject is yet to be carried out by our academics.

In the meantime, the icon has grown in our daily lives. It actually appears more frequently and pervasively today than ever before in our five centuries-long history.

We think it is time to let our creative energies, through our artists and designers and dreamers, to go at it and formulate some artistic renditions of the Khanda by capturing, in their unique and respective ways, what the symbol means to each ... what each one sees in it, what it signifies to each one in his/her life.

Hence, this contest.

We invite submissions from all of you across the globe - young and old, Sikh and non-Sikh, professional artists and amateurs, or even those who've hitherto never drawn a thing  -  of your personal graphic interpretations of this historical motif which is so central to our Sikhi.



Reproduced below are the following items for your assistance:

1 A philosophical interpretation of the significance of the Khanda.

2 A description by Canadian artist Jaipreet Singh of the Khanda, and of each of the three designs he has created for this project, to illustrate the variety of possibilities in interpreting the historical icon.

3  Four images are displayed on this page (on the right) for your perusal: on the top of the page, the traditional Khanda, as reproduced in the 1999 Canadian postage stamp, followed by the three designs by Jaipreet Singh.


The winner will be selected by a panel of judges and receive:

a) One economy, round trip air ticket from the winner's country of permanent residence to either Amritsar, India or Toronto, Canada - the choice will be the winner's.

b) One week's luxury accommodation in either Amritsar or Toronto.

c) No cash value will be offered in lieu of the prizes described above.

d) Both the air ticket and the accommodation will be available only to the winner, and only for a period of 12 months from the date of the announcement.

No reasons will be provided in selecting the winner, or for not selecting a specific submission as the winner.

All submissions will be displayed on, identifying each artist/designer.



1 Persons of all ages may apply. No age distinction will be made between the submissions.

2 Sikhs and non-Sikhs from anywhere in the world may apply.

3 Professional artists, amateurs or first-time dabblers - all may make submissions.

4 Any number of submissions may be made by any individual.

5 A submission may be a sketch, drawing, painting or graphic design - and may be done in pen, pencil, crayon, charcoal, paint, or with the aid of a computer; that is, it may be produced in any medium.    

6 Each submission must be accompanied by the artist's full name, age, e-mail and full postal address, phone number(s) - cell, home, office.

7 A description of the reasons or interpretation behind the design - in no more than 100 words for each - should accompany every submission.

8 Each submission should be sent by e-mail in hi-resolution, in both JPEG and PDF formats, to

9 will have the right to publish (or not publish) each submission, identifying the respective artist/designer, as well as that of the winner, on its online magazine site and any of its supporting and promotional materials, without any fee to the artist/designer.

10 All communications pertaining to this contest should only be sent to However, no individual or personal acknowledgements will be made by to the submissions or enquiries pertaining to them.



All submissions must be e-mailed by you and received by us no later than 5.00 pm (Toronto, Canada time), Sunday, February 15, 2009.



The winner will be announced on March 1, 2009 on



1    THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE KHANDA [see top-right corner of this page for the traditional Khanda, as depicted on Canadian postage stamps]

Just as the Cross symbolizes Christianity, the Star of David represents the Jewish faith, and the Crescent Islam, so does the Khanda epitomize the Sikh religion.

Rooted in Sikh theology and more than five centuries of history, it reflects certain fundamental concepts of the Faith.

The complete symbol derives its name from the double-edged sword  -  also known as the Khanda  -  which stands at the heart of the logo. The Khanda is a potent metaphor of divine knowledge, its sharp edges cleaving truth from falsehood.

The circle around the Khanda is the
chukker  -  a figure without beginning or end  - symbolizing an infinite God, the Lord of all Creation. The Sikh is to seek divine knowledge as the path to ultimate union with God, a state as complete and perfect as the circle.

The two kirpans (swords) that flank the chukker symbolize the twin concepts of
miri and piri  -  temporal and spiritual responsibility. They occupy a central place in Sikh theology which places equal emphasis on the spiritual aspiration of the individual and on the duty of the individual to serve society.

The twin kirpans in the logo thus represent the balance between personal spiritual salvation and the obligation to serve others. Individual action is to be governed by godliness; at the same time, the practice of religion must revolve around service to the poor, the oppressed and the disadvantaged.

The kirpan, in the size of a small knife, is also worn at all times on the person, by Sikhs - males and females - who have taken on the full discipline of the Faith. It is thus worn as an article of faith, and is not a weapon. It serves as a reminder to all Sikhs of the duty to serve the needs of others before their own.




The Khanda, an emblem synonymous with the Sikhs, is composed of four historical implements of war that adorned the Warrior Saints of our tradition.

The double-edged sword at the center of the emblem stands to remind us of the fine line that we walk between our visceral passions and our higher selves, thus also an indicator of the potential for greatness inherent in each one of us.

The Khanda is framed by a Chukker, a universal symbol for the perpetual cycles of life and death, a reminder of our mortality. The chukker is also symbolic of the omnipotent, undying universal force, governing creation. 

The two outer swords represent the Sikh's path to liberation, exemplified through the lives and teaching of our Gurus, who adopted and advocated an intimate understanding and a balance between the temporal and spiritual spheres of life, as epitomized in Shah Fakir - "Regal Sage", a title bestowed upon the Sikh Gurus by their disciples.  

My Artistic Interpretations of the Khanda:

Wheat Stalk [see above on the right side of the page, third image from the bottom]      

A stalk of wheat alone conjures up nostalgic images of Punjab, the historic heartland of the Sikhs.  Wheat is also the staple ingredient of the rotis served hot in our community kitchens, as well as of the sweet parshad distributed in every gurdwara.  Infused with elongated Khandas as its kernels, the wheat stalk takes on a deeper meaning, one of egalitarianism, collective mobilization and sangat.  

The Tree [second image from the bottom]

A Chand Tora is a steel insignia, possibly a precursor to the Khanda, that was bound to the conical turbans of the Nihang Singhs of Punjab.  Composed of a smiling crescent moon with a double edged sword rising from its center, this emblem was both an exaltation and reminder to those on the battlefield that the path of the Guru rises even higher than that of the moon.  Merged into a tree-like icon, this concept aims to project some of the ideal qualities that the Sikh path guides us towards, the strength to protect, provide sustenance and shelter, which are also inherent qualities of a tree.  

A Contemporary Interpretation [first image from the bottom]

This variation on the Khanda was an attempt to interpret the Sikh emblem through angles rather than fluid lines, while retaining its symbolic character.  With a stretch of the imagination, this contemporary interpretation is reminiscent of a planner's map of an urban landscape or an architect's floor plan for an elaborate tower. 


December 20, 2008    

Conversation about this article

1: Bikrampreet singh (Bangalore, India), December 27, 2008, 12:11 AM.

It's great to see a contest like this, as it invites every person to participate in an activity which is both religious and artistic. I am looking forward to being a part of it ...

2: Gagandeep (Mumbai, India), January 04, 2009, 2:33 PM.

Real great work.

3: Sahaj Umang Singh Bhatia (New Delhi, India), January 18, 2009, 8:21 AM.

Do we get to participate as well? Where can I send in my sketches, like I'm no professional but I have done quite a lot of sketches. [Yes, you can participate. Please send your submissions to]

4: PARVINDER SINGH (Banur, Patiala, Punjab), January 23, 2009, 11:31 PM.

Tussi ena vadda uppralla kita, us lyi tahanu lakh vadhai hove ji ... menu bahut khushi te tohade utte maan ae, Khasla ji.

5: Sahib Singh (Amritsar, Punjab), January 31, 2009, 6:21 AM.

It's great to see a contest like this, as it invites every person to participate in an activity which is both religious and artistic. I am looking forward to being a part of it ...

6: Taranjeet Singh (Delhi, India), February 14, 2009, 4:28 AM.

Really great Contest . I will send my art soon. Although I'm not good at photoshop, I have tried to show an artistic rendition of the Khanda. The Khanda By The Singh Twins is really great!

7: Theresa (New York, U.S.A.), March 17, 2009, 10:10 AM.

Will the Khanda contest take place next year as well? [Editor: We plan to. But currently, we also have a similar "Ik Oankaar" contest in which we'd love to have you participate. Please see homepage for details. And, of course, there'll be more contests to follow.]

8: Taranjeet Singh (Ambala City, India), February 05, 2010, 8:37 AM.

Such type of a contest should be held here as well. I'm highly impressed by the person who has started this contest.

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Deadline: Feb 15 2009"

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