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Mayor Joe Hogsett Honors Hoosier Sikhs at the Historic Parade Gathering in Indianapolis

The Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett attended and was warmly greeted the Hoosier Sikhs at the annual "Nagar Keetan: S...

Ek Onkaar Siri Wahegurujee Kee Fateh: One Supreme Creator and all Victories belong to the Wonderful Lord - The Sikh Ardaas (Prayer).

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The Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett attended and was warmly greeted the Hoosier Sikhs at the annual "Nagar Keetan: Sikh Parade Festival" at the Veterans Memorial Plaza in Downtown Indianapolis: "I am your Mayor Joe Hogsett! I am your servant and I am your brother." "It is a pleasure to join you for today's celebration... My thanks to the leadership of The Sikh Society of Indiana, Inc. for this invite and for organizing this wonderful event year after year."

Our celebration today is one of welcome. But for our city and for the Sikh community, our celebration has been hard won this year. After unspeakable tragedy in April, our community - the Sikh community especially - was shaken."

"But in the aftermath, we united to deliver a message. And that message is this: The city of Indianapolis is a city for all people."

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After mentioning the various events that he had attended before coming here, Mayor Joe Hogsett joyfully added: "That brings me here, to the Sikh Parade and community lunch. In just one day, I have seen Indianapolis residents of every generation - of every race, belief, and background. All of them were working toward a city of greater understanding."

He added, "Because no matter our differences, no matter how we got to Indianapolis, we are neighbors now. And neighbors care for each other; they look out for each other." Mayor Joe Hogsett concluded by promising: "And that is what the City of Indianapolis will always do for its neighbors, including its Sikh community."

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The gathering of over two thousand Sikhs welcomed the Mayor warmly, applauded his reassurance about the safety and well-being of Hoosier Sikhs with traditional Jakaras ( joyful acclamation) and honored him with a Siropa (sacred scarf) and a ceremonial Kirpan (sword).

Earlier, the Sikh Parade itself was a beautiful affair with the famous Sikh motorcycle riders and the Sheriff Department riders, several colorful floats - including the beautifully decorated float carrying Sri Guru Granth Sahib (the Sikh Holy Scripture) and Sikh Raagi (religious singers) singing Shabads (sacred Hymns), and hundreds of men, women, and children reciting the chant of Waheguru along the designated ten city-block-long Parade route through Downtown Indianapolis.

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At the end of the Parade, the traditional Langar (vegetarian Lunch) was served in the Veterans Memorial Plaza; spirited speeches by various leaders including Maninder Singh Walia, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Gurdwara Sikh Satsang, and other Sikh Society of Indiana leaders and guests; and a beautiful rendition of Waheguru Simran by internationally-renowned Danish-Punjabi-Hoosier singer, Anita Hjorth Lerche.

Our hearty congratulations to Jagdish Singh and the leadership of The Sikh Society of Indiana, and other leaders that made this historic Parade possible. Enjoy the photos by KP Singh and Anita Hjorth Lerche that provide special highlights of a memorable Sikh Day in Indianapolis. ~ Sut Siri Akal, - KP Singh (KP Singh Designs) - Indianapolis, Indiana USA. - October 9, 2021.

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