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April is “Sikh Awareness & Appreciation Month” in Illinois

April is “Sikh Awareness & Appreciation Month” in Illinois
April 08
15:34 2021

Rajinder Mago

CHICAGO: The month of April is designated as “Sikh Awareness and Appreciation Month” by the Illinois General Assembly. State of Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the Bill HB 2832 into a law last year that designation April as Sikh Awareness and Appreciation Month” in the State

The event took place at Sikh Religious Society (SRS) Palatine Gurdwara. A mini temporary outdoor office of the Governor was set up in the picturesque front lawn of the gurdwara building, near “Nishan Sahib” to conduct the gubernatorial signing ceremony per their official protocol.

Governor Pritzker was surrounded by overjoyed members of the Sikh community in the premises of the gurdwara near “Nishan Sahib” where he signed the bill in the presence of more than 200 Sikhs and guests. The HB2832 Bill had first passed the house vote bearing signatures of the then Speaker of the House of Representatives Michael J. Madigan, and the then Senate President John J. Cullerton.

The State Commemorative Dates Act was amended by adding Section 8 which states –

Due to the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic, the events to celebrate April 2020 were cancelled except Covid 19 relief activities like food pantry, providing free food to the needy, weekly lunches at Salvation Army, food and shelter to a few international families stuck in the Chicago area due to travel ban.

The month of April was chosen because of its significance to the Sikh community. It includes “Khalsa Saajna Divas” (birth of the Khalsa order) on April 14, 1699, and also birth of the founder of Sikh faith Guru Nanak Dev ji on April 14, 1469. The Punjabi cultural harvest festival of “Vaisakhi” also falls on April 14. The second Sikh Guru Angad Dev ji was born on April 18, 1504, and the ninth Guru Teg Bahadur ji was born on April 18, 1621.

So this year we are celebrating the 400th birth anniversary of the Sikh’s ninth Guru Teg Bahadur ji. Several events and activities all through the month of April have been planned by the Sikh Religious Society to create awareness about the Sikhs in Illinois. Those include teaching classes on Sikhism, having Sikh Displays in Local libraries, providing food at homeless shelters, proclamations and resolutions in the State, Townships and city level governments.

A blood donation drive has been organized at Sikh Religious Society Palatine Gurdwara on Sunday, April 18, 2021 from 8 AM to 1 PM. Walk-ins are welcome.

If interested in participating in any of these Sikh Awareness activities please contact the Sikh Religious Society in Palatine, Illinois.

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