Vaisakhi in America 2002

April 15, 2002

Source: Newsday

On April 15, 2002, Newsday reported that "about 1,200 people... packed the [Plainville, NY Sikh] temple Saturday night to begin celebrating 'Vaisakhi'... Surender Singh Dhall, a founder of the Sikh temple, or gurdwara, in Plainview... and several hundred others returned [the next] morning for more prayers and hymns... Most of Long Island's Sikh community hails originally from Punjab, India. When the Plainview temple opened in 1988, about 100 families worshiped there regularly, Dhall said. Now about 400 families do, and a second Sikh temple opened in Glen Cove in 1998. Long Island is home to about 8,000 Sikhs... Community leaders said yesterday's celebration focused on the founding of the current form of Sikhism, called Khalsa. 'It is the biggest day for the Sikh religion,' Dhall said. The religion says that following basic tenets, such as fighting oppression, can lead to being united with God in the afterlife or even during this life. 'Our belief is total peace,' Dhall said."