By: Sameep Singh Gumtala
In America, Independence Day is celebrated every year with great fanfare. Parades are organized in cities, in which the band of educational institutions participate along with different commercial, religious organizations. People sitting on the side of roads or outside their home welcome them. In every institution, even if they are a religious place, the American flag is visible. American flags are highly respected and visible in almost every person’s hand. Sikh Americans in the cities of Dayton & Columbus, Ohio also participated in these celebrations A parade was held at downtown Columbus, capital of Ohio and at Dayton, also known as Birthplace of Aviation. The Sikh Community from Guru Nanak Religious Society, Columbus and Sikh Society of Dayton, Ohio also participated in these parades.
Resident of neighbouring Springfield City Avtar Singh and his wife Sarabjit Kaur prepared a special float related to Independence Day. Avtar Singh and Sarabjit Kaur says, “Sikh Americans, organizations should participate in these parades especially after the tragic incident of 9/11, due to which Sikhs have been target of hate crimes due to the mistaken identity. Hence, it is now more important for them to participate in such events and reach out to the community. This also allows the American people to be informed about the contributions made by Sikhs in America in different areas.
Avtar Singh and Sarabjit Kaur joined the community in both the parades with float decorated with American flags, banners and posters. Sikh community received warm welcome by audience with wishes of Happy 4th July, Happy Independence Day. The unique identities of the Sikhs were also the center of special attraction in the parade, and many among the audience showed keen interest in getting information about their identity.