The Sikhs of New York made a world record by tying 9,000 turbans in a span of a few hours as members of the community celebrated Turban Day at the iconic Times Square. A Sikh organization in New York set a world record by tying thousands of turbans in a matter of hours as members of the community celebrated Turban Day at the iconic Times Square, spreading awareness about the faith in the wake of growing incidents of hate crimes and discrimination against the community.

The Sikhs of New York organized Turban Day as a part of the Vaisakhi celebration, which is observed by millions of Sikhs all over the globe in mid-April each year. During the day-long celebration at Times Square, the organization set a world record for tying the most turbans. 

Chanpreet Singh, the founder of the non-profit organization, said that they tied over 9,000 turbans and were "thrilled" to set the world record. The organization was awarded a certificate from the Guinness World Record for the “most turbans tied in 8 hours was achieved by Sikhs of NY (USA) in Times Square in New York, the USA on April 7, 2018.”

Times square was soaked in colours as Turban Day brought together hundreds of Sikh volunteers who tied colourful turbans on New Yorkers, tourists, and Americans from all over the country. They educated people about the Sikh identity while tying the turbans, making them aware of the culture.

Charanpreet Singh, the founder of the nonprofit organization said,“ On Turban Day, we tied turbans regardless of age, color, gender, or race.” He added, “These are core Sikh values and American values that make us Sikh Americans. Our diversity is our strength.” They created awareness in the minds of people about the importance of equality in the Sikh religion. Guru Nanak, the first Sikh Guru  states in the Sikh holy book, Sri Guru Granth Sahib, “Accept all humans as equals, and let them be your only sect."  

The event aimed at spreading awareness among Americans and other nationalities about Sikhism and its articles of faith, in particular the turban, which has been misunderstood and misidentified as being associated with terrorism, especially in the years since 9/11. Sikhs for New York said thousands of New Yorkers and visitors from around the globe crowded Times Square and came away for the first time wearing a turban on their heads and learning about Sikhism, one of the largest religions in the world.

Since 2013, New York has celebrated Turban Day to educate people about Sikhism, which advocates equality for all humanity. The event at Times Square was judged by representatives from Guinness World and they presented the organization with the world record for tying the most turbans in one place in the world. Cultural and musical performances were also part of the day-long event. 

"We greatly appreciate the many volunteers who contributed their time and resources to support Turban Day," Singh said. "This educational endeavor would not be possible without our hundreds of volunteers and supporters," he said. 

Congressman Gregory Meeks of the 5th Congressional District of New York declared April 15, 2017, as 'Turban Day' in recognition of The Sikhs of New York's efforts to educate other communities about the Sikh faith. 

People who got their turbans tied, including young children, took pictures and walked around proudly with their new headgear. 

Cheryl Mendez, a young student, said she liked exploring different cultures so she got the turban tied on her head. Proudly sporting a pink turban, she said, “It’s nice to see a different culture. I am not a Sikh so it’s nice to learn about different cultures.” She added that the message of the organization that Sikhs should not be targeted in hate crimes because of their identity is “amazing”. Cheryl said, “Everyone should be treated equally, everyone should be welcome no matter what religion you believe in.” 

Natasha Zenger, wearing a pink turban, said, "Embracing cultures that are different from your own is nice."

Turban Day 2018 was celebrated with a lot of fervor and received tremendous love and support from everyone. It succeeded in demystifying the Sikh turban and created much-needed awareness surrounding the teachings of the religion and how the turban is a sign of their unique identity. 

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