Aiming to introduce Sikh culture to fellow Americans, Sikh-Americans, for a second time, entered a float in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California.
According a report in www.sbsun.com, the float named after harvest festival of Punjab- Vasakhi to garner a wider public understanding about Sikh culture and its positive contributions to American society.
The float had a Sikh man with a beard and a bright yellow turban, sitting atop a white horse, on his way to participate in Vasakhi festivities.
It also showcases cultural games; an ethnic bazaar; embroideries; foods; and two peacocks in the center of the boat.
“The Rose Parade is a perfect opportunity to tell them about our culture and celebrate with fellow Americans” said Bhajneet Singh, a spokesperson and member of united sikh mission, in Fontana, California.
According to organisers, several Sikh-American families were to ride on the float.
“A lot of hate crimes have taken place, not only against us, but also against Muslims,” said Harbani Kaur, 29, a Sikh float volunteer, residing in San Diego.
The idea for a Sikh-American float at the Rose Parade sprang from a mission undertaken by Rashpal Singh Dhindsa, founder and president of the United Sikh Mission, to spread more public awareness about Sikh Americans and the Sikh faith, which began in India.
Another volunteer Jasdeep Singh, 43, said, “Our community is concerned about misperceptions of Sikh Americans after events like the Dec. 2 terror attack in San Bernardino. With recent hate crimes and discrimination on the Internet targeting Sikhs, some in the community may think they don’t belong.”
“I think when you look at the float it will send a message about positive contributions of Sikhs .I think it gives us a feeling like we do belong,” he added.