Thousands of devotees across the US turned out for the Nagar Kirtan (35th Sikh Parade) to mark the anniversary of the coronation of Guru Granth Sahib, the holy scripture of Sikhs at Yuba City in California on Sunday.
Led by the Panj Pyaras (five Sikh clerics), the religious parade was taken out about 125 miles from the San Francisco Bay Area.
Yuba City has developed into a trading and service centre. The city is known for having a sizeable Sikh community.
Yuba City Nagar Kirtan draws over 100,000 Sikhs from around North America.
Each year, on the first Sunday of November, Sikhs from the United States, Canada, India, the United Kingdom and the rest of the world commemorate the receiving of the Guru Granth Sahib in 1708 by the Sikhs.
At the gurdwara, built in 1969 on the 500th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, Sikh devotees thronged in large numbers to pay their obeisance to the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, while displaying their political, social and economic strength in the states.
Tajinder Singh Dosanjh, a senior member of the committee, said over 85,000 devotees from US and other countries had assembled for the parade. He said it helps people to meet each other and offers a platform to Sikhs to discuss their issues.
Flower petals were spread all around from a helicopter hovering above ceremonial dais and the path of the parade. The devotees attended a free Langar (community kitchen) on the roadside. Many US Congressmen attended the parade.
Dr Pritpal Singh, coordinator American Gurdwara Parbhandhak Committee, said that such a gathering not only showed the Sikh community’s social bonding, but also demonstrated its political and economic strength in the state.
Sikhs leaders said such gatherings help to spread awareness about the achievements of the community in the United States, especially after the Wisconsin Gurdwara killings.
~ Tapasleen Kaur
~ New Delhi, 4th Nov ’14