Harman Singh, 22, removed his turban to cradle the bleeding head of a five-year-old boy who had been struck on his way to school in Takanini, South Auckland.
Mr Singh heard the accident take place outside his home, before running outside to investigate, according to the NZ Herald.
‘I saw a child down on the ground and a lady was holding him. His head was bleeding, so I unveiled my turban and put it under his head,’ he said.
‘I wasn’t thinking about the turban. I was thinking about the accident and I just thought, “He needs something on his head because he’s bleeding”. That’s my job – to help.
‘And I think anyone else would have done the same as me.’
Mr Singh and other members of the public stayed with the boy until emergency services arrived. Not long after the accident, the boy’s mother arrived. Another man, Gagan Dhillon, was on his way to work when he saw the accident and stopped to help.
He said: ‘There was enough help as there was, but being a Sikh myself, I know what type of respect the turban has. People just don’t take it off – people die over it. He didn’t care that his head was uncovered in public. He just wanted to help this little boy.’
Sikhism is the only religion in the world which requires its followers to tie a turban. Sikh men and women do not cut their hair and cover their heads at all times as an expression of respect to their Gurus. The Sikh turban symbolizes discipline, integrity, humility and spirituality. Turbans become a part of a Sikh’s body and are usually removed only in the privacy of their own house. Normally it is only in the most intimate of circumstances, when bathing the head, or washing the hair.
The five-year-old was reportedly walking to school with his older sister when he was hit. He was thought to have suffered life-threatening head injuries, but last night was in a stable condition in hospital.
Since the incident occurred, Mr Singh has received thousands of messages and comments on his Facebook page.
Mr Singh, from India, is in Auckland studying a business course. He said he was overwhelmed with all the praise.
‘Thousands of people have said ‘well done’. I was only doing what I had to and trying to be a decent member of the community,’ he said.
‘Thanks to all who messages, calls… thanks all the worldwide Facebook members who messaged me. I think i just did my job nothing else.’