Woody Guthrie’s song ‘This land is your land, this land is my land’ playing in the background, the Sikh Americans’ float paraded during the 126th Rose Parade at Pasadena in California on Thursday.
The float, titled ‘The Sikh-American Journey’, was accorded a warm reception by the crowd. It was one of the four entries showcasing inland residents.
The 55-ft-long float was decked with 1,700 roses and 2,500 gerbera daisies and had 12 people from the US Sikh community riding on top.
The float was backed by California-based non-profit organisations — the United Sikh Mission, Sikh Lens and Khalsa Care Foundation — and the Sikh American Legal Defence and Education Fund (SALDEF).
Aimed at showcasing the 125-year history of Sikhs in the US, it carried a replica of the 102-year-old Stockton Gurdwara.
Funds for the $250,000 (about Rs 1.6 crore) float were collected through donations by Sikh Americans throughout the US.
Rashpal Dhindsa, founder of the United Sikh Mission, said: “The 9/11 attacks forced us to introspect who we were. Participating in this event was an attempt to educate our fellow Americans that we are part of their own community.”