Sikh Community Brings in New Year

April 9, 2007

Author: Rachel Ensign

Source: The Cornell Daily Sun

On Saturday, more than 75 people gathered together in Barton hall to celebrate the Sikh holiday of Vaisakhi with a moon bounce, a D.J. and samosas, a popular South Asian pastry.

The event was run by the Cornell United Sikh Students Association. Sikhism is the fifth largest organized religion in the world with 23 million adherents worldwide. The religion originated in northern India in the sixteenth century and its members are known for their uncut hair and distinctive turbans.

“We don’t really have a presence on campus,” said Harman Singh ’09, the organizer of the event.

He estimated that there were only 10 to 15 Sikhs in the entire Cornell community.

According to material distributed at the event, “Vaisakhi implores all Sikhs to commit themselves to a path of spiritual living.” The holiday falls on April 13 and is celebrated by many Sikhs as New Year’s Day. Most observe the holiday by attending services at a local temple. According to Angad Bhai ’08, the Vaisakhi celebration in Los Angeles is one of the largest in the world, an event where “all Sikhs from California come together and parade downtown.”