The iconic Times Square was seeped in the colours of the Sikh culture as thousands of community members gathered here to celebrate Baisakhi and educate fellow Americans about Sikhism in the wake of growing incidents of hate crimes and discrimination against them.Legendary sportsman Milkha Singh graced the occasion and addressed one of the largest such celebrations in the US, calling on the Sikh community to educate the young generation about the significance of the Sikh culture. Hundreds of excited tourists and children queued up at the popular city destination to get turbans tied on their heads in bright colours by members of the Sikh community and took pictures and selfies wearing them as “Turban Day” was also celebrated at the event.
The participants jostled to get a picture clicked with the elderly “Flying Sikh” who had travelled from Canada for the event.“Today if the Sikhs have a name and are known around the world, it is because of the turban. Milkha Singh is called a ‘Flying Sikh’ because I have the turban on my head and the beard on my face. My beard and turban are the reasons for the respect and recognition that I have across the world,” Singh said.Non-profit organisation Sikhs of New York and New Jersey and the event’s organisers Bobby Sidana, Kawaldeep Sahni, Chanpreet Singh and Gurmeet Sodhi said the event aimed at not only celebrating the festival marking the spring harvest but also educating Americans and thousands of tourists about the Sikh culture.