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Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Joins 20000 Sikhs and Wears Turban During Baisakhi Celebration


Los Angeles mayor Wears Turban During Baisakhi Celebration on April 6, 2008

Los Angeles, April 06, 2008
Gary Singh

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 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 Khalsa Council.

Delicious vegetarian Langar (free food) was served all day long.

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.
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..........







Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Wears Turban

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