Annual Sikh parades are held all over the world during the birth of the religion centered on the religious day of Gurpurab. This parade takes place as a celebration as well as an educational experience for all those that choose to be involved. The parade consists of free food and drinks as well as many displays of the religion including martial arts. Many volunteer and hundreds of families come out to see the festivities. People of all different races are welcome and are educated of the day and what it are the meaning and the purpose of the Nagar Kirtan (Sikh Parade).
This parade is held in cities all over the world some cities attract larger crowds than others dependent upon the Sikh population. The Sikh religion is a newer and smaller religion as compared to many of the prominent ones we see in every day life. This parade is a chance to educate many people of the people, beliefs, values, and traditions of the religion. Many who attend the parade are able to walk away with new knowledge of a religion they may have only briefly come across while reading or flipping through television shows. This parade has given Sikhism the ability to share its true meanings and teachings on a much broader platform both being able to reach many more people personally as well as through media.
The big messages of Sikhism such as social justice, equality and tackling poverty are heard far and wide by all those able to see and learn about this parade. If there is not enough to learn through first hand conversation there sure is plenty to see. Many Sikh youth participate in the martial arts that are performed in the center of the parade for all those attending to appreciate. Those youth participating in the martial arts claim “ its more than just martial arts… its spiritual” expressing their religion and beliefs through this art goes beyond art for this youth it s a form of religious expression.
These religious expressions combined with the those who are present to educate about the religion are spreading Sikhism to a demographic that may not have other wise known of Sikhism and all they stand for. This parade is a form of religious expression but also a way in which the teaching and beliefs of these people can reach a larger audience. This parade also brings together the Sikh community together as a whole. An endless number of volunteers are needed for the parades function creating team atmosphere and spirit. Individual family groups also come together by bringing all members together to come celebrate in the festivities.
The Nagar Kirtan or the Sikh parade has spread knowledge of the religion across many cities all over the world. This parade brings together the Sikh community it also brings together smaller family units. The parade is a way to celebrate the birth of the religion, spread knowledge, and create a welcoming atmosphere for all to be comfortable participating.