In a Rich White U.S. Enclave, the New Mayor Stands Out: A Turban-Wearing Sikh

August 1, 2007

Author: Paul Vitello

Source: International Herald Tribune

LAUREL HOLLOW, New York: Harvinder Anand, the new mayor of this Long Island village of multimillion-dollar homes, private beaches and yacht owners, is, like many other residents, a successful business executive, a boater and a connoisseur of world travel.

His Sikh turban and beard drew double takes when he moved to the community 10 years ago, but it does not get many anymore. At least not among the locals.

Nonetheless, Anand's way of standing out in the crowd of Bermuda-shorts-and-loafer-wearing people who elected him in June - he ran unopposed - attracted television crews from U.S. and Indian networks to his inauguration in July. The newscasters described the election of Anand, 47, who is from a New Delhi and is the first member of any minority group to become mayor of this 95-percent-white community of 2,000 fronting on Cold Spring Harbor, as an unparalleled event.