More than 15,000 NRIs attended Baisakhi celebration in Los Angeles
Los Angeles, April 05, 2015
More than 15000 NRIs (non-resident Indians) sikhs from all over the Southern California State attended Baisakhi celebration in Los Angeles, marking the Punjabi new year and the start of the harvest season. The celebration took place Sunday, April 05, at the Los Angeles Convention Center from 7:30am. till evening. Nagar Kirtan include devotional music and a colourful parade featuring with decorative floats through downtown Los Angeles.
Nagar Kirtan, meaning, ‘town and songs of praise’ describes the street processions which form an important part of the Vaisakhi celebrations. The holy book of the Sikhs, 'Granth Sahib' was taken in a procession, led by the 'Panj Pyaras' (five senior Sikhs) who are symbolic of the original leaders.
Kirtan Singh Khalsa was event coordinator and the emcee for the whole event. Judy Chu-U.S. Congresswoman, John Chiang- California State Treasurer and U.S. Congressman Brad Sherman’s Chief Policy Assistant attended the program.
Baisakhi Award was presented to Management Committee of Vermont Gurdwara (Ronak Singh) for their leadership in carrying forward the Los Angeles celebration of Guru Nanak’s Birthday
This is the single largest annual Punjabi event in Los Angles area that shows cases the Punjabi performing arts and promotes talent amongst the next generation of the local community. The generosity of the community can be seen with people giving free food along the streets, sharing, helping each other, singing and walking in the parade. Families get together wearing traditional clothes from far and wide. Businesses and other community organizations are commonly seen sharing and giving at their booths or on floats.
John Chiang- California State Treasurer represent Baisakhi Award to Ravneet Kaur for her appointment to the California Community Colleges Board of Governors.
The Vaisakhi celebration in Los Angeles was organized with the coordiation of Sikh organizations- mostly Gurdwaras of Southern California
Vaisakhi 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 Khalsa Panth.
In her speech, Judy Chu congratulated the whole Sikh NRI community on Baisakhi and also told that it was her 14th consecutive year of attending the celebrations. She also presented a Certificate of Congressional Recognition.
Judy Chu along with leading advocacy groups, welcomed the inclusion of Sikh, Hindu, and Arab American communities in the Department of Justice’s hate crimes tracking effort. This is the final step in the long-fought effort to encourage the federal government to finally begin tracking and quantifying hate crimes against these at-risk communities. Recently, the DOJ and FBI updated its hate crimes database and FBI training manual in order to start tracking hate crimes committed against these groups – that system is now fully operational.
John Chiang- California State Treasurer also congratulated the NRI Sikh Community on the occasion of the Baisakhi Celebration.
Amrit Kaur Khalsa of Sikh Dharma International and Bibi Inderjit Kaur congratulated the Sikhs for Baisakhi Celebration.
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.
Baisakhi is one of the most popular festivals celebrated in the vibrant state of Punjab to mark the harvest of Rabi crops. Baisakhi usually falls on April 13, and on April 14 once every thirty-six years. Baisakhi is one of the festivals where huge amount of cooking with authentic recipes and eating takes place.