Thousands gather for Sikh celebration in Saskatoon
Saskatoon’s Sikh community is spending the long weekend celebrating its culture during the Nagar Kirtan parade and festival.
Thousands gather for the festival, showcasing Sikh food, martial arts and religion, all to celebrate the tradition of Khalsa, during the festival of Vaisakhi.
The Khalsa, meaning ‘pure’ in Punjab, was formed in 1699, and joining shows a sign of deep commitment to the Sikhism faith.
During Vaisakhi, a celebration of spring harvest in India, all Sikh communities join together as one to embrace the culture.
“We sit together, we feed together, and we share our values together,” said Balpreet Singh, a Sikh community member. “We also welcome not only Sikhs, but everyone from every religion can come share this event with us.”
The Nagar Kirtan parade is part of an annual tradition, and Balpreet hopes the celebration motivates future generations to continue celebrating their culture.
“We want to keep them sticking with the religion and do good deeds and continue the Sikhism and hopefully spread it all over the world,” Balpreet said.
The parade made its way to Mahoney Park on the city’s west end, where flavours, aromas and the sounds of festive music filled the air.
Community member Jaspal Singh said the festival is a great way for others to learn, ask questions and take part in Sikh culture.
“Canada has immigrants from all over the world and it’s just a melting pot of different communities here,” Jaspal said. “Every community has its own history and heritage and it’s good for the community to celebrate and commemorate and that’s what we’re here for.”
by Global News