SIKH PARADE Tauranga; cultural exposure


Diane Hume-Green gives us her impressions of a locally held Sikh religious festival.

In January 2015 we saw the second parade to be held in Tauranga celebrating the birth of the 10th religious leader of the Sikhs.

A large truck carrying the Sikh scripture and older men and women travelled around the Avenues starting at the Tauranga Sikh temple, Gurudawra Sikh Sangat, in Burrows Street.

The commercial building has been transformed with lights, the scent of spices and the colourful outfits worn by the members of the Sikh community.

Followers walked behind the truck, some. dressed in traditional Indian outfits in the most striking shade of orange. Their decorated turbans and replica swords speak of a culture rarely seen in Tauranga. Chanting and singing by the thousands of followers who had come from other areas in New Zealand as well as Tauranga, filled the air as they walked behind the truck.

Younger members of the community handed out fruit and drinks to the public watching the parade. The even had rubbish collectors so nothing was left on the streets after the parade. A truly amazing experience for watchers and of great significance to the members of the Sikh religion.

There are a group of houses with Indian families in my street and I hear the younger men with their Bollywood music playing as they walk past my house, grandmothers taking the little ones for a walk in pushchairs and the older men walking during the day. I often wonder when I see the older men walking around our suburb what they have seen and done in their life. Their white clothing and colourful turbans, long wispy beards and sandals stand out in our streets, but their friendly greeting as you pass makes me smile. How quiet our streets must seem after bustling India.

Diane Hume-Green

Diane, a totally Tauranga resident, is a regular ARTbop contributor through Scene Around Town. Diane has contributed numerous pieces on a wide variety of topics of Tauranga and other places and events of interest around New Zealand.


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