Third Annual NJ Devils Sikh Heritage Day celebrated to honor Sikh turban, identity, and culture


Sikhs of NY and various NJ Gurdwaras Sponsor Celebration of Sikh Heritage

Our Bureau

Newark, NJ

The third annual NJ Devils Sikh Heritage Day was hosted on March 9th, 2024, at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, and was sponsored by the national Sikh organization— Sikhs of NY, a non-profit dedicated to promoting diversity, equality, religious freedom, and inclusion in the US military. “The program honors the work and service of Sikhs in the tri-state area. This event was sponsored by various New Jersey Gurdwaras” said Jasjit Singh Bindra, one of the main event organizers.

The NJ Devils event was an opportunity to highlight the Sikh turban, identity, and culture. Sikhs of New York founder Kanwaldeep Singh proudly announced that over five hundred bright Red Devils turbans were tied on fans that day. “It’s an opportunity for us to de-mystify the turban for the broader American public and spread awareness about our rich heritage.”

The event featured Giddha, a traditional Punjabi dance, by the group “Chidiya Da Chamba;” Biba Singh Punjabi Pop Singer; Rana Dholi, the Drummer, and red turbans were on NJ Devils national broadcast and enthralled the spectators live.  NJ Devils ice-hockey team welcomed Sikhs to come and celebrate their heritage with the wider community and became part of it by donning the red-colored turbans. “We are honored to be part of the third Sikh Heritage Day with the NJ Devils! It is our mission to promote diversity and inclusion while growing new fans for the game as well. This day was quite special for the organization, and we look forward to growing this celebration of diversity in the years ahead!” said Meghan, NJ Devils Account executive for Group Events.

“As part of our effort to increase diversity in all walks of life, we believe it is also important to promote understanding of our Sikh Heritage,” Sikhism is the world’s fifth largest religion and as a monotheistic faith that is focused on service to all. Sikhs of NY aims to bring a modern approach to establishing the Sikh identity in the United States. A blend of traditions, cultures, and beliefs together represents the ideology of Sikhs. The Sikhs of NY organizes the popular Turban Day annually at Times Square, NY to bring awareness among all Americans about Sikhism.

Sikhism, originating in the Punjab region of India in the 15th century, is not merely a religion but a way of life deeply rooted in the principles of equality, compassion, and service to humanity. With its distinctive identity, including the unshorn hair and turban, Sikhs stand out as beacons of resilience and fortitude.

At the heart of Sikh culture lies the Golden Temple in Amritsar, Punjab, revered as the holiest shrine for Sikhs worldwide. Its gleaming golden façade, surrounded by the sacred Amrit Sarovar (Pool of Nectar), serves as a symbol of spiritual enlightenment and inclusivity.

Sikh heritage encompasses a rich tapestry of traditions, music, art, and cuisine, each reflecting the spirit of unity and generosity. The vibrant Bhangra and Giddha dance, resonating with infectious energy and joy, embodies the zest for life inherent in Sikh culture. Meanwhile, the soul-stirring Shabad Kirtan, devotional music sung in Gurdwaras (Sikh temples), uplifts hearts and minds, fostering a sense of peace and harmony.

Moreover, Sikh cuisine, with its tantalizing flavors and aromatic spices, tantalizes the taste buds and invites all to partake in the joy of communal dining. From the iconic Langar, a free community kitchen serving wholesome meals to all visitors irrespective of caste, creed, or background, to the delectable flavors of Punjabi cuisine, Sikh food represents a celebration of unity amidst diversity.

In today’s interconnected world, understanding and appreciating Sikh culture and heritage is more important than ever. By fostering dialogue, promoting inclusivity, and celebrating diversity, we can build bridges of understanding and harmony that transcend borders and unite humanity.

In celebrating Sikh Culture and Heritage with the New Jersey Devils Ice Hockey Team is a testament to the enduring spirit of resilience, compassion, and unity that continues to inspire and uplift us all. Heartfelt Thanks to NJ Devils Prudential Center Newark, NJ for giving us this platform.

—Jasjit Singh Bindra

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