Organisers of Turban Day are overwhelmed with the fantastic response received from the public on Friday’s outdoor event at Aotea Square in Auckland CBD.
Approximately 1000 turbans were made available to be draped on interested visitors at the event. Hundreds of men, women and children tried the unique headdress – the pride of the Sikh community.
“Turban is not only religious wear- it is much more significant than that,” said one of the volunteers while draping the turban on a visitor.
Both men and women in the Sikh community wear a turban as it signifies not just a cultural or religious identity but also represents the embodiment of Sikh values, teachings and love for the Guru Nanak and his practices. The turban worn by Sikh men and women is also a symbol of gender equality.
The event organised by the Supreme Sikh Society of NZ in collaboration with 'Sikh Aware' from Auckland with a national presence along with different Gurudwaras in NZ and Radio Sadeaala.
Two turban tying professionals have travelled to New Zealand who will be in the country three weeks going to different Gurudwaras in the country to teach the people different styles of tying a turban or dastar.
“I am a trained coach and professional of tying a turban, and my goal in this trip is to impart as much knowledge about turban tying to our overseas brothers and sisters as possible,” Gurjeet Singh, the international coach from India told The Indian Weekender.
“I know 52 styles of tying a turban, and that is what I will be teaching and training people across all the Gurudwaras we are visiting this month,” Mr Singh added.
The coaches travelled on the special occasion of Vaisakhi earlier this month and will conclude their trip with the last event on Sunday, May 5 at Takanini Gurudwara where the competition will also be held for the best-draped turban for the children.
“Turban Day event has become an important part of the calendar with different organisations holding this outdoor event at several intervals of the year,” Daljit Singh from Supreme Sikh Society told The Indian Weekender.
“Through this event, we want to emphasise on the teachings of Sikhism and spread the knowledge to the non-Sikh members of the community,” Mr Singh added.
The event started after 2 p.m. on Friday, April 26 and was scheduled to be over by 4 p.m. – but people continued to pour in and volunteers got busy tying turbans, distributing pamphlets and imparting information about the Sikh community.
“We witnessed a lot of women and children from the Kiwi community, and some travellers too who were in Auckland for a holiday who were interested in tying the turban at the event,” Sharan Singh from the organising team said.
“The Sikh colour is Kesari[saffron] colour, and we chose this colour as a theme today to showcase unity, organizer Harpreet Singh said.
“At the event, the excitement amongst the visitors tying the turban was amazing, especially amongst children who took pictures with the trainers and were eager to know more about the Sikh religion, the turban and its importance,” organiserGurpreet Singh said.
MP and Minister for Ethnic Communities Jenny Salesawho was present at the event said, “this turban feels really special, and I take so much pride in wearing it today.
“I did not know that women wear the turban too and although I have visited Gurudwaras in the past, I am eager to learn more about Sikhism and its teachings.
National List MP Kanwaljit Bakshi also interacted with the people present at the event and applauded the efforts of the organisers for bringing the extended community the Turban Day event.
“I applaud the efforts of the organisers, especially the volunteers and participants who performed the Gatka (Sikh Martial Art) at the event for making this event such a big success,” Mr Bakshi said.