The Sikhs of New York will present Turban Day April 15th from Noon until 4 p.m. in Times Square as part of the annual mid-April celebration of Vaisakhi, which is commemorated by millions of Sikhs annually.
Volunteers of the non-profit organization hope to tie 7,000 turbans on the heads of Sikhs and non-Sikhs alike to not only celebrate the centuries old birth of Sikhism, but also promote awareness of the continued misplaced violence targeted at people who practice the religion. The organization has invited local politicians to join them for six cultural presentations on a stage next to the Ruby Red Stairs at the TKTS Booth, according to a press release.
“Last year we tied about 3,000 turbans in Times Square and we hope that it will be 7,000 this year,” said Chanpreet Singh, the organization’s founder, in a statement. “We started Turban Day in 2013 at Baruch College to promote and educate 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 valor. Turban Day provides an opportunity for those that do not wear a turban to experience a turban and learn about its significance first hand.”
The organization, which has about 600 members, also will be unveiling a new video on Turban Day that is designed to show Sikh people come from all walks of life. The video, which features physicians, businesspeople and even a gymnast, is posted online at Facebook.com/SIKHSOFNY.
“When you see a person in a turban, feel safe,” said Jill Jagjeevan Kaur Ruitenberg, President & CEO of Ruitenberg Lind Design Group of Jamesburg, N.J. and a practicing Sikh featured in the video, in a statement. “When you see a person wearing a turban they are Sikh. Sikhism is its own religion founded in India over 500 years ago. It is not derived from any other religion. Part of their beliefs are to help and protect people around them, even at the risk of their own lives. They believe in equality for everyone.”
The cultural presentations at the free event include yoga by SJ Khalsa of Kundalini Yoga East in New York City, who promotes a healthy lifestyle. Featured performances will include Tejveer Singh, also known as “The Lost Strings,” as well as singing and Bhangra dancing. The event begins with turban tying at 12 p.m.