White House celebrates Gurparab for first time

Guru Nanak's birth anniversary was celebrated on Monday for the first time in the White House, with musicians from the Golden Temple holding a celestial performance attended by Sikh leaders from across the country. Organised
white house celebrates gurparab for first time -...
PTI November 16, 2009 22:05 IST

Guru Nanak's birth anniversary was celebrated on Monday for the first time in the White House, with musicians from the Golden Temple holding a celestial performance attended by Sikh leaders from across the country.

Organised by the White House Office of Public Engagement, the event comes months after the first Diwali was celebrated in the White House with President Barack Obama presiding over the festival of lights.

The 540th Guruparab was celebrated in Washington ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's state visit to the US next week.

Director of Office of Public Engagement Christina M Tchen congratulated the Sikh community and thanked Sikh bodies for their assistance in organising the event.

Amid religious hymns by musicians from the Golden Temple, Sikh leaders spoke about Guru Nanak and about the issues of the Sikh community in America.

"We greatly appreciate the recognition of this important day... it was pleasure to see officials speak so highly of the Sikh community and our identity," said Harpret Singh Sandhu, ex-city councilman, Richmond, California.

Singh, the legal director of United Sikh, said American Sikhs must be pro-active in advocating their rights and press government to address issues of "employment discrimination, bullying in schools, hate and bias crimes, and religious and racial profiling at airports and borders". PTI

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