Huge Sikh Festival in NYC

Huge Sikh “Meditation Celebration” Festival and Parade in NYC

Huge Sikh Festival in NYC
By Joel Friesen (originally posted to Flickr as Sikhs on the move!) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Sikh ‘Meditation Celebration’ was held in NYC April 28.

Thousands of Sikhs gathered during the afternoon of April 28 for what is officially known as “meditation celebration.” [tweettit]New York City played host to one of the most significant tributes given to Sikh culture.[/tweetit]  Denizens of the city witnessed a parade walking down Madison Avenue. Seen from above, the road was a sea of turbans. The parade began at 12 p.m. It started at Madison Avenue and 38th Street and went south before ending at 25th Street.

Huge Sikh “Meditation Celebration” Festival and Parade in NYC[/tweetthis]

For all practical purposes, however, it was a boisterous walk energized by live music. Participants wore the multi-colored and stylish clothing reminding of Punjab, the Indian state from where the Sikh religion originated.

The Sikh religion started five centuries ago in a place which is now a part of India. The troubles of 1984 saw many Sikhs fleeing from their own state and migrating to various parts of the globe. Many Sikhs ended up in the North American region. They are a highly visible minority in New York City's Queens' borough.

The festival is held every year and attracts Sikhs from all over New York City and its surrounding areas. The date generally falls on or near Vaisakhi. The latter marks the day when Khalsa Panth was created by the tenth Sikh guru. The words Khalsa Panth translates into a community of the initiated Sikhs. As per the website launched and maintained by the Sikh Coalition. This day is characterized by performing the traditional rituals. All visitors to Sikh worship houses get to taste free meals.

The Sikh Coalition was founded as a response to hate attacks against Sikhs living in America after September 11. The coalition began with 15 Sikhs who decided to take stand against civil rights abuses Sikhs faced immediately post 9/11. These volunteers worked nights and during weekends to do everything to make sure that the community becomes secure and Sikh voices heard. All volunteers had day jobs and they set up the organization by carving out time from their busy schedules.


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