Cincinnati, Ohio, Sept 22, 2019 (Yes Punjab News)
For the second consecutive year, Ohioans came together to celebrate twelve major world religions at Xavier University. It was an inclusive gathering of different communities with over 90 faith-based and community service vendors gathered to educate the community about various religions, civic and social matters.
Sikhs from Cincinnati & neighboring cities including Dayton participated in the event. Sangat from the Guru Nanak Society of Greater Cincinnati Gurdwara Sahib served Langar (community kitchen food) at the event. Visitors were overjoyed to know about the importance of Langar and SEVA in Sikhism.
The festival kicked off its inaugural program with a multi-faith prayer service. Opening speaker Rabbi Gary Zola encouraged the crowd to participate in community prayers.
Throughout the day, many faith-based groups led sessions on meditation, including Naam-Simran & Shabad Kirtan by Sikhs and led the visitors through musical conversations. Sikh exhibition table included books, brochures and Kakkars (5K’s).
Outside the main hall, Sikhs organized turban tying sessions and Gatka demonstrations for the visitors to learn about their significance. The festival was immersed in the colors and traditions of the Sikh Culture.
Visitors who got the turbans tied, including children, adults, and disabled were seen excited, taking pictures and proudly walking around with the turban on their head. For many, this was their first experience about the local Sikh community in the region.
Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley thanked the Sikh community and said, “I am happy to be among the Cincinnati Sikh community, partaking the meal served by them. Sikhs are feeding everybody at the festival of faiths; Jewish, Christians, Muslims, and other religions under the sun, bounded together by our common humanity and in Cincinnati we want everyone to feel welcome”
Bhai Amrik Singh, Head Granthi Cincinnati Gurdwara Sahib said that this year Sikhs all over the World are celebrating the 550 years anniversary of Guru Nanak Gurpurab. At the festival today, we shared the message of Gurbani “Eaek Pithaa Eaekas Kae Ham Baarik Thoo Maeraa Gur Haaee” i.e. “The One God is our father; we are the children of the One God,”
Member of Cincinnati Sikh Community Jaipal Singh said, “The Festival of Faiths brought together people from different backgrounds to explore what it means to practice ‘compassion through action’ with our neighbors. We shared the Guru’s legacy & traditions through Gurmat Sangeet, Turban tying, exhibition table, Gatka, and various presentations.”
Gatka demonstrations were performed by Shaheed Baba Deep Singh Gatka Academy, who especially came from New York for participation in the event. In addition to the exhibition, the Festival also offered live and diverse musical performances throughout the afternoon, fun activities for children of all ages, small-group dialogues on topics related to the Festival’s theme of “Compassion through Action.,” and an interfaith worship service preceding the exhibition.