New Orleans Sikh Community Celebrates Birthday of Guru Nanak

January 20, 2002

Source: The Times-Picayune

On January 20, 2002, The Times-Picayune reported that "men in colorful turbans and women in Punjabi suits or long tunics congregated at the Sikh Gurudwara temple... in eastern New Orleans to celebrate the 533rd birthday of the founder of their religion... Sikhs worship one god and do not engage in rituals, as their founder, Nanak Devji, who was in India in 1469, instructed. They believe that one should live a truthful life, earn a living through hard work and help their fellow man... At the temple, everyone sat on the floor listening to melodious hymns sung by some of the devotees. The celebration also included continuous reading of the holy book for three days and nights prior to the celebration, according to Raj Pannu, secretary of the temple. The holy book, Guru Granth Sahib, comprises devotional hymns and moral and ethical rules of behavior for development of the soul, spiritual salvation and unity with God... Today, there are 18 million Sikhs all over the world... They were among the first Indians to immigrate and settle in the United States and Canada.".