Angeles mayor Wears Turban During Baisakhi Celebration on April
Los Angeles, April 06, 2008
NRI Sikhs in Southern California celebrated the 309th Anniversary
of Baisakhi from 7:30 am to 5 pm at the Los Angeles Convention Center,
1201 S. Figueroa Street. Gurdip Singh Malik, Nagar Kirtan organizer
told NRIpress.com representative that around 20,000 people participated
in the event.
California Government officials joined the celebration
and addressed sikh Community:
- Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
- California State Board of Equalization Chairperson Judy Chu
- California State Senator Mark Ridley-Thomas
- California State Assembly Member Mike Eng
- Los Angeles City Councillor Bernard Parks
Mayor of Amritsar (India), Shwait Malik and senior Deputy
Mayer of Amritsar Ajaybir Pal Randhawa also addressed the Sikh Community.
Ronak Singh(Vice President of Vermont Gurdwara, Los Angeles
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Mayor of Amritsar, India Shwait Malik
and senior Deputy Mayer of Amritsar Ajaybir Pal Randhawa
Kirtan Singh Khalsa organizer said they want to publicize the
frequent hate crimes aimed at members of the Sikh community. Sikhs
hail from the Punjab state of India and wear turbans, and are frequently
the target of racial slurs or attacks from people who hold them
responsible for acts of terror.
A special press conference with the Mayor and other dignitaries
was held at Los Angeles Convention Center, 1201 S. Figueroa Street,
West Hall Theater, 2nd Floor, Room 411, dedicate to increase public
awareness of California Sikh history and Sikh identity.
A colorful parade (Nagar Kirtan):
from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. through the heart of downtown
Los Angeles concluded the day’s events.
Baisakhi festival included a two-mile parade through downtown consisting
of 13 floats representing the principles of Sikhism. Special designs
have been created in collaboration with Joginder Singh Siddu in
which the floats highlight special Sikh themes, lifestyles and values.
The parade begain at 3:30 p.m. from the Los Angeles Convention Center
- North on Figueroa, East on 11th, North on Grand Avenue, West on
7th Street, South on Flower, West on 11th Street, South on Figueroa
- to end back at the Los Angeles Convention Center, ended around
5:30 p.m- parade. Baisakhi 2008 Schedule
The Sikh religion is the fifth major religion in the world, with
23 million adherents world-wide. 500,000 Sikhs live in the United
States – and 50,000 – one-tenth of the US Sikh population
resides in California
Since this year marks the 25th anniversary of Baisakhi celebrations
in Southern California, the Sikh community has introduced special
Mai Bhago Spirit of Baisakhi Awards to honour those Sikh women who
worked to promote the message of Sikh gurus and educate the world
about the Sikh identity.
Among those being honoured are Harjot Kaur Singh, a Canadian film
producer; Inni Kaur Dhingra; Penny Yogiraj Sandhu, CEO of JusPunjabi
channel; Valarie Kaur, an American film director and writer; and
Shanti Kaur Khalsa, writer and chairperson of the International
Delicious vegetarian Langar (free food) was served
all day long.
Day is of paramount importance for the Sikhs, as it was on this
day Guru Gobind Singh - the Tenth Guru of the Sikhs sought to eliminate
social discriminations with the establishment of the universal caste
Baisakhi or Vaisakhi Festival is celebrated as the Sikh New Year
and the founding of the Khalsa Panth. History of Baisakhi traces
its origin from the Baisakhi Day celebrations of 1699 organized
by the Tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh to form Khalsa - Brotherhood
of Saint Soldiers to fight against tyranny and oppression..........