According to one of the organizers, Jasjit Singh Bindra, “the program honored the work and service of Mayor Ravi Singh Bhalla, the first turbaned Sikh Mayor in the U.S., and LTC Kamal Singh Kalsi, the first Sikh to be granted an accommodation to wear his religiously mandated turban and beard in the military.”
Ravi Singh Bhalla, the Mayor of Hoboken, is quoted saying in a press release:“It is a great opportunity to bring awareness about Sikhs and educate who we are. A turban represents love, peace and equality and Sikh wear it with pride. It was special seeing turbans being tied to the wider community, as it not only represents Sikh faith but also American traditions.”
According to the press release, the NJ Devils event was an opportunity to highlight the Sikh turban, identity and culture, where 800 bright red Devils turbans were tied, Sikhs of New York’s founder Chanpreet Singh said.
“It’s an opportunity for us to de-mystify the turban for the broader American public,” Chanpreet added.
The event featured a bhangra performance by PBA Bhangra Group, a percussion performance by the Nagara drum group and red turbans on MSG’s national broadcast.
NJ Devils welcomed Sikhs to come and celebrate their heritage with the wider community and became a part by donning the red colored turbans.
Both organizations hope to make the event bigger and better year after year.