LA Mayor Sports Turban to Sikh Vaisakhi Celebration, Sikhs Donate to Food Bank

April 17, 2006

Source: SikhNet News

On April 17, 2006 SikhNet News reported, "Over 15,000 Sikhs from California and around the country celebrated Baisakhi on Sunday, April 16th at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Organized by 13 different Sikh organizations and temples in the Southern California area, the celebration included Sikh devotional music, addresses by Sikh leadership from India and the United States and by California dignitaries, and a colorful parade. In addition, Golden Temple, Inc, a Sikh owned business, donated $75,000 worth of Peace Cereal to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.

This Baisakhi celebration is considered to be the largest of its kind in the Western United States.

Baisakhi is the holiest day of the year for the Sikh community. Like many other faiths who celebrated holy days this weekend, Baisakhi is considered a time of renewal, recommitment and rebirth... [i]n attendance were US Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA), Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Los Angeles Country Sheriff Leroy Baca and California State Assembly Member Judy Chu... The elected officials were honored by the Sikh community for their continued work against hate crimes, and their commitment to embracing the diversity of Los Angeles County... The Sikh religion is the fifth major religion in the world, with 23 million adherents world-wide. 500,000 Sikhs live in the United States – and 50,000 – one-tenth of the US Sikh population resides in California."