Sikh Parade in Carteret Sends Message About Faith’s Strength

April 30, 2008

Author: Staff Writer

Source: WSN Network

The gritty, working-class enclave of Ukrainian, Polish, Hungarian and German immigrants, Carteret, clearly came out as the cultural epicenter for Sikhism — the world’s fifth-largest religion — when turbaned throngs of Sikhs lined its streets on a recent Saturday and teenagers displayed their skills in the Sikh martial art, gatka.

As the gleaming swords clashed and a proud Sikh community told everyone how its motto was Sarbat Da Bhala, the second annual Sikh Day Parade, featuring floats from many local gurdwaras told the populace about the rich traditions and legacy of the burgeoning religious community in the borough.

As New Jersey is host to some 25,000 Sikhs, Carteret has emerged as a magnet for the community, with an estimated 1,000 Sikhs among the borough’s 22,000 residents. Amardeep Singh, executive director of the Sikh Coalition, a civil rights group in New York City, was widely quoted in the local media narrating a Sikh’s essential values.