New York, May 4, 2017: With an intent to proliferate awareness about the Sikh culture and tell the world about the significance of it, the Sikh community in America celebrated Turban Day. Non-profit group ‘The Sikhs of New York’ has organized the “Turban Day” at Times Square in the April end. It was a four-hour event.
It was celebrated on April 15. It was started to raise awareness about Sikh culture and religion. Turban is a headwear symbol mandated by the 10th Guru of Sikhism- Guru Gobind Singh.
It has often been misconceived as being linked with terrorism particularly in the years post the 9/11 terror attacks. It is because former Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden has been seen wearing the turban. It is donned by both men and some women.
Terms like “Dastar”, “Pagri” and “Pagg” are aliases of the turban in Punjabi or Hindi language that covers the head. It is a long scarf-like cloth wrapped around the head or inner hat or “Patka”.
Organisation’s founder Chanpreet Singh said the Turban Day was started in 2013 at Baruch College to promulgate and enlighten people about the Sikh religion and identity. “We are spreading awareness about the Sikh turban and culture. The turban is the crown of each Sikh and represents pride and valour. Turban Day provides an opportunity for those that do not wear a turban to experience a turban and learn about its significance first hand,” he stated.
Singh added that he had personally experienced antipathy during his school years and wanted to take the initiative to educate Americans that “Sikh values are American Values”.
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He said by inviting people from other nationalities and faiths to wear the turban, the event also intends to encourage them to evade discrimination and speak out against hate crimes targeting Sikhs in America going forward.
The organisation, which consists of 600 members, also unveiled a new video featuring Sikh physicians and businesspeople articulating a message that Sikh people have different backgrounds, they are not terrorists. The event also showcased cultural performances and prayers.
– by Sabhyata Badhwar. Twitter: @SabbyDarkhorse