Saturday, after softball cricket at St. Albans Park in Murray Hill, a few of us wondered down Lexington Avenue and into the 2015 NYC Sikh Parade.
The event was largely a mix of general celebration as well as religious and spiritual presentations. However, there were also expressions of American-patriotism and Punjabi/ethnocentric calls for political self-determination in India.
Of course, one of the coolest moments of the parade was the free food given out to all attendees. This expression of charity stems to a principle of social responsibility for those in need.
The Day in Context
As a non-Sikh but as someone who understands what it’s like to be born outside of the mainstream, it was so awesome to see the pride and joy on the faces of the individuals in attendance that day.
The American Sikh community has endured many social and polical obstacles. These obstacles include marginalization on the South Asian subcontinent, immigration to the United States and post 9/11 Islamophobia that victimizes many Sikhs who were perceived as Muslims.
Most importantly, for me, the day was one in which Sikh Americans were able to feel at home in the US. There was little reason to feel self-conscious about their attire and appearance. For once, they were celebrated in and by their own city.
It was their day. Our party.
They were Sikhs. And we were all Americans.
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Medvis Jackson is a web designer at Hindsite, curator at Kulchah and avid cricket fan. You can follow him @medvisjackson for his random thoughts.