Nikki Haley’s parents are Ajit Singh Randhawa and Raj Kaur Randhawa. They immigrated from Punjab, India.
What Jobs Did Nikki Haley’s Parents Have?
In their hometown in Amritsar District, Punjab, India, Nikki Haley’s father was a professor at Punjab Agricultural University, and her mother received her law degree from the University of Delhi.
Nikki Haley’s parents moved to Vancouver, Canada, where her father earned his PhD from the University of British Columbia in 1969. When Nikki Haley’s father got a job offer in America, the couple decided to put roots down and pursue their careers and raise their family in the U.S., rather than return to India as they had planned.
Nikki Haley’s father became a biology professor at Voorhees College and the couple moved to Bamberg, South Carolina, where all three of their children were born. Nikki Haley’s father Ajit Randhawa taught for 29 years and retired from Voorhees College as Chairman of the Division of Natural Sciences.
Nikki Haley’s mother Raj Randhawa earned her master’s degree in education and taught social studies in the Bamberg Public Schools while raising three children. After seven years of teaching, she decided to leave her job in order to start her own business, which was originally a gift shop.
Through this business, where young Nikki helped her mother with accounting and taxes after school, Nikki Haley got her first taste of the American dream. Exotica International Gift Shop was established in 1976 in her parents’ living room. Today, it is a 10,000 square foot store in West Columbia.
Nikki Haley continues to be inspired by her parents, who reminded her and her siblings every day how blessed they are to live in a country where you can succeed through hard work and determination. She opens up about her parent’s influence in her first book Can’t Is Not An Option: My American Story.
What Faith Do Nikki Haley’s Parents Practice?
Nikki Haley’s parents are Sikh, which Nikki describes as “A very kind, peaceful faith. It’s one that’s all-accepting. They believe in one God,” she explained.
Growing up, Nikki Haley’s parents took her to various Christian churches in addition to Sikh worship so that she could understand and respect other religions and other’s relationship to God. Nikki Haley credits her parents with instilling a strong sense of faith in her.
Nikki Haley ultimately converted to Christianity and she and her husband attend Mt. Horeb United Methodist Church in Lexington with their two children.Nikki and Micheal Haley had both a Methodist and a Sikh wedding ceremony. Nikki Haley explains in an interview with NDTV how important her Sikh roots are to her and how she made the decision to convert to Christianity.
Growing up in Gurdwaras was very much a part of who I was, and feeling that faith was important. What happened was the fact that I never learned the language. I can’t speak Punjabi. I grew up and when I’d sit in a Gurdwara I’d feel the faith, I felt it, but I couldn’t understand it. So as I got older I needed more. And so being able to go into Christianity and really understand and connect, that’s where it came from.
But I’ll never deny the fact that I grew up in the Sikh faith. I’m very proud of that. I know that my humility came from there, I know that what I feel in terms of my belief in God came from there. Christianity spoke to me at a time where I needed a connection. I am my parents’ daughter. They showed me that the best way to appreciate God’s blessings is to give back.