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A naming ceremony, Naam Karan, is an extremely special occasion in the Sikh community, and it is appropriate to bring a gift with you for the baby.

Choosing A Considerate Gift For A Naam Karan

Because having a naming ceremony at the gurdwara is such an important part of Sikh culture, it is important to choose a considerate gift. Often both ceremonial and practical gifts are given to the parents and the baby, as well as making financial donations. A gift is always appreciated at a naming ceremony, whether it is cash, a more traditional gift, or something modern for the baby, such as a toy or clothing. The most important thing is the sentiment behind giving a gift and the good hope and blessings for the future. 

Traditional gifts

Shastar - weapons either for defense or attack - are a traditional naming ceremony gift - these are ceremonial. A kirpan dagger is a popular choice, and will be kept for a lifetime. Look for something that has excellent craftsmanship with a beautiful design. Steel or iron is a good choice for a kirpan. A barcha is also a good shastar gift, a type of wooden lance. A kara bracelet made completely of iron, or a Khanda symbol necklace are popular traditional gifts to give for a naming ceremony. A book about Sikh history with lots of interesting pictures is another nice gift to give, and will be treasured for many years to come. 

Modern gifts

A toy for the baby is a popular gift to give for a naming ceremony. Gender equality is so important within the Sikh faith. This makes it extremely appropriate to give a gender-neutral toy - these are toys that don’t conform to gender stereotypes, such as a pink doll for a girl or a blue football for a boy. Instead look for toys that can be enjoyed equally by both boys and girls, such as puzzles, stuffed animals, puppets, building blocks, or craft/art supplies. These sorts of toys can be kept for when the child is a little older. Any standard baby toys or clothing are also appropriate to give as a gift at a naming ceremony. You could also choose something practical, such as a baby blanket or a basket. A naming ceremony gift can also be personal and sentimental, like a framed picture or an engraving or keepsake celebrating the day. 

Giving money

It is common, particularly in Asia, to give money instead of a gift at a naming ceremony. It is more superstitious than religious, but generally you would give an amount plus one, such as $51 or $101. It is fine to give cash or a check. Alternatively, it has become popular to give a gift card or a voucher at a naming ceremony to go towards something for the baby or to put by for the future. 

Whether you choose something modern, more traditional or give money, it is always appreciated by the family, and an important part of the day. 

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