Sikhs take part in Calif. Rose Parade to spread awareness about religion, culture

The floats organized by the Sikh community was crafted around the message: “A divine melody resonates in all”


A 60-foot by 18-foot flower-bedecked float mounted on a truck and carrying five Sikh musicians playing “ancient instruments” rolled down a stretch of road in Pasadena as the Sikh community of Southern California joined in strength in the annual Rose Parade, a 130-year-old American tradition, on Jan. 1.

For the fifth consecutive year, thousands of Sikhs lined up the 5.5-mile route from Orange Grove Boulevard to Colorado Boulevard, wearing colorful turbans and costumes, celebrating not just the iconic New Year's Day tradition but also spreading “awareness on the wheels” about Sikhs, their culture and traditions...

...The theme of the parade this year, officially known as the Tournament of Roses Parade, was “Melody of Life.” In keeping with the theme, the float of the United Sikh Mission, the organizer of the float on behalf of the Sikh-American community of Southern California, was crafted around the message: “A Divine Melody Resonates in All.” It was part of a total of 88 floats, bands and troupes that travelled through the heart of Pasadena.

The bystanders, including Sikhs and non-Sikhs who lined up the parade route to watch the spectacle, cheered and waved as the float with five Sikh musicians playing instruments like Rabab and Dilruba rolled down the road. “The response of the crowd was very positive and spontaneous. We were there not just to celebrate the New Year along with other Americans but our float, in addition to raising awareness about Sikhs and their culture and tradition, also represented all minorities in the U.S.,” Minu Kaur Singh, creative director of the float, told India Abroad. “The language of music is universal,” she said...

...Bhajneet Singh, a member of the Sikh committee responsible for the float entry for the fifth consecutive year said growing up in California, it was incredible now ‘to consistently see” a Sikh float in the Tournament of Roses Parade every year.

“The Southern California Sikh community continues to invest significant time, money and resources into the Rose Parade because it’s an incredible opportunity for us to deepen local community relationships while better educating Americans about who Sikhs are,” Kaur said.

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