Denver will see its first ever Sikh parade later this month as a way to celebrate the culture of a population that is growing in the area. About 1,000 people are expected to attend the parade and celebration from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 22 at Denver East High School. Free vegetarian food will […]
Denver will see its first ever Sikh parade later this month as a way to celebrate the culture of a population that is growing in the area.
About 1,000 people are expected to attend the parade and celebration from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 22 at Denver East High School. Free vegetarian food will be available throughout the day.
The parade will start at 1:15 p.m. and run along 16th Avenue from Esplanade Place to Emerson Street and then back down 16th Avenue after a one-block detour onto 17th Avenue. The morning will consist of prayers and music.
Organizers Paul and Gurpreet Juneja said they have explored ways to celebrate their religion and culture. They want to bring more awareness in the community since they said their kids started being bullied at school for their appearance for resembling Muslims.
Gurpreet Juneja said she is against the mocking and dislike of all other religions and wanted to take the opportunity to educate others on the Sikh faith.
“We hope it will bring more awareness and be well received,” Gurpeet Juneja said. “Our kids don’t feel different than other kids until they are treated badly at school.”
The Sikh faith is a monotheistic religion with most of its adherents residing in India. Paul Juneja estimated there are about 500 Sikh families in the Denver area. The religion is known for the men wearing colorful turbans and the fact that Sikhs don’t cut their hair.
Gurpreet Juneja is the only member of her family who immigrated to the United States. Paul Juneja and their two children were born in the United States, yet she said she and her family have had several instances where they were told by some to leave the country amid other insults.
The family attends the Colorado Singh Sabha temple in Commerce City — which is sponsoring the parade — and they will be joined by a seven other Sikh groups from Colorado Springs, Boulder, New Mexico, California and Utah. Pastors from both the Jewish and Christian faiths also will attend.
“This whole thing is being done because of our kids,” Paul Juneja said. “We’re through being a victim and want to take the lead.”
Gurpeet and Paul Juneja approached Denver about holding an event, and a parade was the best suggestion.
Grace Ramirez, spokeswoman for the city’s office of special events, said: “We work closely with city agencies to promote events that bring greater awareness to cultures in our communities.”
Their kids were being bullied so they decide to educate the whole city!
~ Source: Sikhnet