Group 5 (16 to 22 yrs)

Time allotted: 8 minutes

Theme: Sikh Way of Life/Sikh Rahit Maryada and Gurbani

Book: No book assigned

Sikh Way of Life as per Sikh Rahit Maryada and Gurbani

  • The theme for this year is "Sikh Way of Life as per Sikh Rahit Maryada and Gurbani". Gurbani and the Sikh Rahit Maryada form the foundation of how Sikhs are to live their lives at a personal and at the Panthic level.

  • Discussions on the guidance provided by Gurbani and the Sikh Rahit Maryada would enhance our ability to live our lives according to the message of Gurbani and follow the code of conduct provided in Sikh Rahit Maryada.

  • Please research and think about various aspects of the theme and related issues.

  • The judges will consider the development of the arguments presented. They do not have to agree with the speaker; in fact, the viewpoint presented may be unusual, different or even unpopular. What matters is the logic, its development and its strength.

  • Competition at the International level will involve discussions around the above theme and various related issues. We hope to encourage an understanding of the Gurmat values based on Gurbani, History and Rehat, as well as promote the habits of critical thinking. This will also help in developing skills to discuss difficult issues with other Sikhs and with non-Sikhs.

  • For the speech competition at the Center and the Regional levels, the participants should address the three specific questions given below

I Speech Contents (For Local and Regional level)

Answers to the following questions are expected in your speech. Please be brief and to the point. Contents are worth 60 points: 20 points for each question:

  1. Discuss the significance of Sikh Rahit Maryada in Sikh way of life. How does Sikh Rahit Maryada help us live Sikh way of life at both personal and panthic level according to the message of Gurbani.

  2. Why do you think many Sikhs stray away from the Sikh way of life as laid out in Sikh Rahit Maryada and in Gurbani? Offer some suggestions to help them follow Sikhi according to Sikh Rahit Maryada and Gurbani.

  3. We often talk about Sarbat Da Bhala and the concept of love and compassion for all as an integral part of the Sikh way of life. How does the concept of sword and sant-sipahi fit into this framework?

II Presentation (40 points):

  • Included in this area are items like style, delivery, poise, eye contact, voice, diction, language and effectiveness. Time allotted to finish the speech for this group is 8 minutes. There is no penalty for finishing the speech either earlier than 8 minutes or during the grace period of the next 30 seconds.

  • After the grace period, i.e., after 8 minutes and 30 seconds have elapsed, one point would be deducted for every extra 10 seconds or part of 10 seconds, from every judge’s score for the participant.

III Punjabi Presentation and Maintenance of Sikhi Saroop:

  • Use of Punjabi and maintenance of Sikhi Saroop needs to be encouraged. Participants who use Punjabi and/or maintain Sikhi Saroop will be judged according to the above format.

  • However, it is suggested that such participants be rewarded suitably.

IV Suggestions on preparing youth for the Sikh Youth Symposium:

  • Given that the primary purpose of the Sikh Youth Symposium is for our children to focus on their learning, we would like to clarify the appropriate levels of support children should receive as they prepare for their speeches. It is our recommendation that it is in the best interest of the children to write their own speeches, with minimal support from parents or other adults.

  • The participants should independently research the theme and answer questions and ask adults for support only as reference points or to ask for guidance on Gurbani references. If your child’s speech is prepared in Punjabi, it must still follow the guidelines above. If it is prepared in English, it can be translated into Punjabi after it is created per the above guidelines. However, once the speech is in Punjabi, your child should understand the speech in its entirety.

  • Although these are only suggestions, in order to make this experience most meaningful and equitable

  • for all children, it is recommended that we adhere to these suggestions as closely as possible.


For group V, the guidelines at the International level are different from those at the Center and

the Regional levels. The format at the International level is specifically designed to foster discussion and

critical thinking.

What follow next are guidelines that are specific to the competition at the International level. The

Regions may, if they so desire, implement these guidelines at the Regional level also.

Phase 1.

  1. Each participant has two minutes to make an opening statement. The order of the participants is chosen at random. The opening statement does not necessarily need to cover every specific question and subquestion mentioned within the three questions that are addressed at the local and the regional level, but it needs to cover the overall theme in a competent manner.

  2. After each opening statement, another participant chosen at random will be asked to respond to the opening statement. Time allotted for the response is one minute.

  3. After each opening statement and the response to it, there will be an open discussion among the participants for about five minutes.

  4. During the discussion mentioned in 3 above, the moderator will ask questions from the participants as necessary to keep the discussion alive. The moderator will ensure that the discussion stays on track and that no one participant gets to dominate the discussion.

Phase 2.

  • Following Phase 1, each participant will get one and a half minute to make a closing statement. The order of presentations is to be chosen at random.

  • While it is understandable and acceptable for the participants to come with a prepared closing statement, they are encouraged to incorporate relevant elements from the discussion during Phase 1 into their closing statement. That reflects a participant’s ability to comprehend what is being discussed, analyze it, and integrate some relevant points from the discussion into their own statement.

The moderator will carry a critical burden on his/her shoulders