More than 2,000 members of the Sikh faith descended on Memorial Park near downtown Indianapolis for the city’s second annual Sikh Day Parade.
“We just want to give people a chance to learn a little bit more about what our religion is and who we are,” said Jaswant Singh, one of the organizers of the day long Oct. 8 event.
Hundreds of Indianapolis residents lined up at three separate langers or traditional religious kitchens to try a variety of Punjabi and northern Indian foods like bhatura and halwa.
Prabjot Kaur was one of several individuals demonstrating traditional Sikh martial arts techniques. The day long event was also a chance for Indianapolis’s Sikh community to reconnect with their friends and family.
“We get so wrapped up in our day-to-day lives,” Kaur said. “Sometimes, we just need to get together and take time to appreciate our heritage.”
The Sikh Day Parade concluded with a procession through downtown Indianapolis which included a traditional honor guard, granthis reading passages from the Guru Grath Sahib, a local Sikh motorcycle club and martial arts demonstrations.
This is Indianapolis’s second year hosting the event, which commemorates the formation of the Khalsa and the first Amrit initiation ceremony in 1699.
The event was dedicated to the anniversary Guru Granth Sahib’s guruship.
The parade drew crowds from across the Midwest including members of Sikh congregations in cities as distant as Saint Louis, MO and Nashville, TN.
The event was organized by the Sikh Society of Indiana and several local Indianapolis area gurudwaras.