Milford Sikhs Celebrate Vaisakhi with Festive Parade

April 24, 2006

Source: Milford Daily News

On April 24, 2006 Milford Daily News reported, "A little rain on their parade did not dampen the spirits of local Sikhs who marched in colorful procession to their house of worship on East Main Street yesterday morning to celebrate one of their faith’s major holidays. The occasion was Baisakhi, the Punjabi New Year’s harvest festival that marks the birthday of the Sikh brotherhood. More than 200 members of the world’s fifth-largest religion took part in the parade and ceremonies that briefly gave a commercial strip of Rte. 16 the spirit of an international festival... Sikhs have been in this country for 100 years, but outside of their Kiplingesque depiction in old Hollywood films of the British Raj, they tend to be unfamiliar to many of their fellow Americans. The festivities were an exercise in getting-to-know Sikhs, and their faith... Sikhism, a monotheistic faith based on the teachings of 10 gurus who lived in northern India in the 16th and 17th centuries, claims 24 million followers worldwide. Among an estimated 500,000 Sikhs in the United States are some 600 Sikh families in Greater Boston. The New England Sikh Study Circle, organizer of yesterday’s celebration, has houses of worship in Millis and Milford... Honored guests at the service were state Rep. Marie Parente, D-Milford, Brian Murray, chairman of the Milford selectmen, and Milford Police Lt. James Falvey."