This Sunday, Radio Sher-E-Punjab is organizing the sixth annual turban tying competition at the Bombay Banquet Hall in Surrey to mark International Sikh Turban Day.
The competition is free and men and boys of all ages are welcome to join the event.
The day was picked a few years ago by different Sikh groups to coincide with the harvest festival of Vaisakhi, which is celebrated every April 13.
Since the tenth master of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh, had founded the Khalsa - a militant Sikh force to resist the oppression of the Mughal Empire - on Vaisakhi day, the Sikh bodies picked the date to celebrate the International Sikh Turban Day. The establishment of the Kalsa also gave the group a distinct identity.
A turban is must for a devout Sikh, who has long unshorn hair. While a number of Sikhs in the Lower Mainland can be seen without turbans, Sikh groups are trying to encourage youth to give up the practice of cutting hair in favour of sporting a turban and this day was launched mainly to promote the tenets of Sikhism.
However, the co-ordinator of the Sunday event, Gurvinder Singh Dhaliwal, who is also a talk show host with Radio Sher-E-Punjab, gives a number of other reasons for holding such an event.
He says that the organizers also want to educate people about challenges facing turbaned Sikhs across the world. These include discrimination against turbaned Sikhs and hate attacks on them in U.S. after 9/11.
"We also wish to remove low-self esteem among the turbaned Sikhs, who are subjected to racial taunts, and make them feel proud of what they are." [Link]
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