The White House has celebrated the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, in the presence of eminent Sikh-Americans from across the US.
Led by Melissa Rogers, Special Assistant to the President and Executive Director, White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighbourhood Partnerships, senior officials from the Obama administration turned up to welcome Sikhs who were dressed proudly in their traditional Punjabi attires, colourful turbans and business suits.
Addressing the gathering, Charge d'affaires of the Indian Embassy Taranjit Singh Sandhu conveyed the greetings of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the occasion of Gurpurab.
The meeting was also addressed by Congressman Joe Crowley, Co-Chair of the House Caucus on India and Indian Americans, and Gautam Raghavan, adviser, White House Office of Public Engagement, among others.
Last week, President Barack Obama had extended his best wishes to Sikhs across the US and around the world on the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak.
"This sacred time is an occasion to reflect on Guru Nanak's timeless teachings and the principles that are at the heart of Sikhism, including the equality of all human beings, the pluralism we cherish in diverse societies and the compassion we owe one another," he said.
"Here in the United States, we're grateful to the many Sikh Americans who give life to these values and enrich our country every day, reminding us that these shared principles are not only at the heart of the Sikh faith, they are central to who we are as Americans," Obama said in a statement.
"We truly appreciate President Obama's gesture to greet us on this auspicious anniversary. He and his administration have shown particular respect for Sikhs and their religious observances," said Rajwant Singh, chairman of the Sikh Council on Religion and Education.