CultureFest 2017 ~ Sikhs Tied Colorful Turbans

"Local City Culture Festivals, offers an opportunity for Sikhs to create awareness about Sikhism in the USA....&quo...

"Local City Culture Festivals organized all over the USA, offers an opportunity for Sikhs to create awareness about Sikhism in the USA. It is important for the Sikh community to participate in such events to meet other people, learn about their culture and tell them about Sikhs and its identity, especially about the Turban"

Dayton (Ohio): Visitors sat down at the Sikh booth for turban tying during the 21st Annual Culture Fest of Springfield, Ohio. Thousands gathered in downtown Springfield to celebrate the diversity and discover the tastes of many cultures. This annual event featured wonderful cultural programs on two stages and strolling musicians on the plaza, experience many different merchandisers from different ethnic vendors, and to learn about the world at several informational booths.

Turban Tying DSC_0978 (358K)

A group of Sikhs from Springfield and neighboring areas participated organized turban tying sessions for the visitors to experience a turban and learn about its significance. The festival was immersed in the colors and traditions of the Sikh Culture, as members of the Community tied turbans on the visitors to spread awareness about the Sikh identity, amid a spike in hate crimes against them in the country.

Sikh Boy Explaining IMG_9199 (345K)

"We have been participating in the event for almost 16 years, with the aim of spreading awareness among Americans, and other nationalities about the Sikhs, especially the turban, which has been mistaken and misidentified as being associated with terrorism particularly after the 9/11 attacks" said Avtar Singh, a resident of Springfield and organizer for participation in the event.

Visitors who got the turbans tied, including children, adults, and disabled were seen excited, taking pictures and proudly walking around the event with the crown on their head and being able to take their turban home to tie in the future. Even the Mayor of Springfield, Mr. Warren Copeland, came forward and tied the Turban. Another visitor Gary said that he visits the Sikh Booth every year to tie a turban.

Bhangra (214K)

Punjabis also celebrated the cultural festival by exhibiting Bhangra and Gidha by the youth and adults. Ravjot Kaur and Manisha Nezhad, who are part of the Ohio State University Bhangra team performed at the event drawing large crowds, many onlookers were seen trying to dance at the rhythm of the Punjabi beats.

Booth_DSC_0814 (371K)

On the Punjabi stall, artifacts such as spinning wheel (Charkha), churner (Madhani), seat chair (Peerhee), grinding stone (Atta Chaki), Harmonium, hand drum (Damru), Punjabi Tong (Chimta) were displayed. To create awareness of the turban in context of Indian culture, pictures of Dr. Manmohan Singh; Prime Minister of India, along with American President Barack Obama, former President George W.Bush and also the Sikh soldiers who wore turbans while taking part in the two World Wars were displayed. Pictures and posters about "Significance of Uncut Hair", "Tying of the Hair and Turban", "Sikh Turbans", "Sikhs Contribution in World Wars", "Sikhs in US Army" were displayed. Books such as "The Sikhs", "Harmandir Sahib", "Warrior Saints", "Sikh Wedding" and others were also displayed.

Attendees were offered the chance to learn about Sikhs in the form of questions and answers, also handing out free brochures on the Sikhs which were published by the Sikh Coalition, SALDEF, and a booklet called "Sikhi: Faith and Followers" published by the Sikh Research Institute.

Coverage on PTC: Sikhs Participate with Other Cultures in Springfield Ohio CultureFest 2017:

Bhangra and Gidha at the CultureFest 2017:

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