What would you like to see us feature or focus on more?  

Take the SikhNet Survey today ♥


Share Your Voice


Suhailjeet Singh, a 20-year-old Indian-New Zealander, is the first baptized Sikh to join the Royal New Zealand Air Force as an aviation technician.

Individuals who have undergone the Amrit Sanskar initiation rite are known as Amritdhari Sikhs or baptized Sikhs. Amritdhari Sikhs are required to adhere to the Sikh code of conduct, which requires them to wear the five Ks: the kesh, the kanga, the kara, the kachera, and the kirpan. In addition to not cutting their hair, they must keep it clean at all times, and many of them wear turbans.

Suhailjeet making Sikhs proud  

Suhailjeet Singh moved to New Zealand with his parents from New Delhi, India, when he was three years old. He attended Mt Eden School, Takanini Conifer Grove School, and Rosehill College in Papakura. He also studied Punjabi at Takanini's Sikh Heritage School, where he also learned kirtan, table games, and gatka (Sikh martial arts). Growing up, he looked up to his cousin Manmohan Singh, a mechanical engineer, as a role model, and after earning his diploma from Unitec, he went on to work for him. 

After earning his diploma, he applied to the NZ Air Force, which was pursued and pushed by his cousin and role model, Manmohan Singh, a mechanical engineer working for a private enterprise in NZ.

Speaking about his dress code being a baptized Sikh, Suhailjeet added that there is a provision in the RNZAF dress code to accommodate people from different religious backgrounds. He got a patka and material for a turban issued as part of the uniform. All he has to do is attach an RNZAF hat badge.

Manjinder Singh Sirsa of the DSGMC praised Suhailjeet and said, “We celebrate the achievements of Suhailjeet Singh who becomes the first Amritdhari Sikh to join as Aircraft Technician in New Zealand Air Force. May Waheguru always guide you on the right path.”

Presence of Sikhs in New Zealand 

Sikhs have a strong history of serving in countries such as Canada and England, but one we may not have heard about is New Zealand. In 2018, New Zealand's armed forces banded together to celebrate Sikhs on the 550th anniversary of Guru Nanak.

The first Sikhs arrived in the country around 1810, although the population has been quite small, reaching less than 3,000 as recently as 1996. The Sikh population has Quadrupled since 2006. More than 40,000 Sikhs presently live in the country.

More young Sikhs have been proudly representing both their Sikh identity and their nation's uniform. As a result of their contribution to our various nations, Sikhs are becoming increasingly well-known around the globe. Earlier in 2020, Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal, an American Sikh police officer, was remembered as a head of state at his funeral, demonstrating the esteem in which his duty and community service were held. He directly inspired other youth to become police officers in the U.S.

Suhailjeet is being recognised as a role model for young people, particularly Sikhs in the Kiwi Indian community in New Zealand who have worked hard to achieve this coveted position at such a young age.

Add a Comment