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‘What’s Vaisakhi?’ – Sikh Seminar held at Skokie Public Library in US

Skokie, IL, May 10, 2024 (Yes Punjab News)

Skokie Public Library Community Engagement section in collaboration with the local Sikh community members organized a seminar on April 27, 2024 at the library about the Punjabi festival of Vaisakhi and its significance to the Sikhs, a distinct religious community originating from the Northwestern region of India in Southeast Asia.

The event also coincided with celebration of the month of April designated as the Sikh Awareness and Appreciation Month in Illinois. Many local communities’ residents curious to learn about Vaisakhi and their Sikh community neighbors attended the event per invitation notifications published by the library.

Mantej Singh and Kaviraj Singh started the program with singing of a Shabad (hymns from the Sikh scripture Guru Granth Sahib).

Dr. Sanjay Mehrotra of Northwestern University gave an overview of various spring festivals in different regions of India. Shiva Singh chimed in about similar spring festivals in European countries.

Rajinder Singh Mago explained the cultural aspect of Vaisakhi, as a harvest festival in Punjab, the first day of the lunar calendar month of Vaisakh in India, which falls on 14th. of April, when farmers celebrate after harvesting their crops and rejuvenate for the next season.

Harinder Pal Singh made an elaborate presentation about the significance of Vaisakhi to Sikhs.

On this day in 1469 the founder of Sikh faith Guru Nanak was born in Nankana Sahib (currently in Pakistan) and in 1699 the tenth Guru of Sikhs Guru Gobind Singh formed the order of Khalsa in AnandPur a city in Punjab, India.

This event transformed his followers to egalitarian warrior saints with a distinct dress code and way of life. Sikhi is the 5th. largest religious community in the world with about 27 million followers worldwide mostly in the state of Punjab in India. There are about half million Sikhs in the USA.

Sarwan Singh Bolina set up a display of Sikh Soldiers of world wars 1 & 2 posters in the meeting room and also spoke about the contributions and sacrifices of Sikh Soldiers to bring about peace in the world.

The formal designation of Sikh Awareness and Appreciation Month of April in Illinois was officially implemented on January 1, 2020. Several events to educate for Sikh Awareness were celebrated throughout the month of April including proclamations in cities, villages and counties of Illinois, the billboards on the major highway in Chicago, and lectures in schools and universities.

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