16
Oct
09

Winter Olympics to Finally Feature More Swordplay


kirpanNormally swords are a bit out of place at the Winter Olympics — although I would pay good money to see the curling teams duke it out on the ice — but at the Vancouver games the Integrated Security Unit announced that Sikhs who are participating in the games will be allowed to wear kirpans — a ceremonial sword considered a sacred religious symbol — around the venues.

Anyone wearing a kirpan will be required to inform security before entering any of the venues, providing they follow these stipulations.

  • All articles — including unshorn hair, turban, comb, steel bracelet, kirpan and soldier’s shorts — of faith must be worn.
  • The maximum total length of the kirpan, including the sheath, may not exceed 19 centimetres with a blade of not more than 10 centimetres and a handle of five centimetres or less.
  • The kirpan must be worn in keeping with Sikh traditions, including being secured into its sheath, attached to a fabric belt and worn across the torso.
  • The kirpan must be worn under clothing and not easily accessible.

If any of the conditions aren’t met security can refuse admission. The change was brought about because a study conducted by the security officials found that there are very few incidents where a kirpan was used as a weapon.

[Calgary Herald]


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