A resolution marking the festival of Vaisakhi celebrated by the Sikh-American community here has been introduced in the US Congress.
Brought in by Democratic Congressman from California, John Garamendi, the resolution (H Res 550) has been co-sponsored by over a dozen lawmakers including Indian-American Ami Bera.
"I proudly represent one of the largest Sikh communities in the nation. For decades, we have confronted the challenges of California together, including education and our current drought. It is in this spirit of cooperation and friendship that I wish Sikhs across America and across the world a most joyous Vaisakhi," Garamendi said.
Honouring the community's celebration of Vaisakhi, the resolution said Sikhism is a religion founded in the Punjab region of South Asia over five centuries ago and introduced to the United States in the 19th century.
It said Sikhs in the US pursue diverse professions and walks of life, making rich contributions to the economic vibrancy of the United States as farmers, engineers, doctors, scientists, and business owners.
Asserting that Sikh-Americans continue to make strides toward securing religious liberty as patriotic members of the United States Armed Forces; the resolution says Vaisakhi is one of the most religiously significant days in Sikh history, commemorating the creation of the Khalsa, a fellowship of observing that the Sikh religion is based on a belief in one God and the equality of all human beings.
The resolution said the celebration of Vaisakhi includes performing Seva (selfless service), such as providing free meals to all visitors to Sikh Gurdwaras (Houses of Worship).
"We are grateful to the resolution sponsors for highlighting the important contributions of Sikh Americans to their communities in all walks of life," said Simran Kaur, advocacy manager for the Sikh Coalition.
"Sikhs are an integral part of the American fabric, and we look forward to celebrating Vaisakhi with our fellow Americans," she said.