Sikhs Take to L.A. Streets on Holy Day

April 9, 2007

Author: Jia-Rui Chong

Source: Los Angeles Times,1,268076.story

With gold- and orange-fringed parade floats and the sound of harmoniums playing traditional hymns, more than 10,000 members of the Sikh community paraded through downtown Los Angeles on Sunday.

Many participants wore traditional Sikh turbans as they celebrated Baisakhi, a harvest holiday that commemorates a key moment in the development of the religion.

On the minds of many were recent hate crimes, made all the worse as they were apparently provoked by mistaken identity.

"People don't know. They think we're Muslims," said Raj Singh, 66, a Brea resident who was watching a float go by. "I hope, for the people standing on the road, or seeing this from their roofs, this will enlighten them."

Last month, a Redding man rammed a construction tractor into a Sikh temple and reportedly told police that he thought the building was owned by Arabs.