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Mayor Bloomberg Declares Sikh Heritage Week in New York City

09/13/2007

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    In honor and support of the Spinning Wheel Festival which highlights Sikh history and culture, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has declared the week of Sept. 22nd – 28th Sikh Heritage Week in New York City.


    The proclamation from the New York City Mayor’s office reads, in part,

      “Now in its fourth year, the annual Spinning Wheel Festival showcases the rich diversity, history and culture of the Sikh people. In addition to documentary and feature films, the festival also offers interactive discussions with the films’ producers – helping to increase understanding of Sikh culture and strengthening the bonds of our city’s Sikh community, this week New Yorkers celebrate the talent, hard word, and dedication that Sikhs contribute to our city’s social fabric.”

    This proclamation is especially timely in light of recent events with the US Transportation and Security Administration (TSA). Since August, the TSA has been conducting questionable searches of Sikh turbans as part of new policies for airport security. New York City’s declaration of Sikh Heritage Week will help create visibility for the United States’ estimated half a million Sikhs, who wear a turban as a sign of their faith and who practice equality, acceptance and fraternity as part of their religious tradition.

    Sponsored and supported by the Sikh Art and Film Foundation, the fourth annual Spinning Wheel Festival promises to be the most exciting one to date. Feature films and short documentaries will be shown at the Asia Society & Museum, 725 Park Avenue, New York on Sunday, September 23rd. The topics of the films range from short, entertaining insights into Sikhs arts and culture (Where Not To Do Bhangara) to feature-length films one the aftermath of the anti-Sikh massacres of 1984 (Widow Colony). The event offers an opportunity for those curious about or immersed in the Sikh community to deepen their experience and understanding of the Sikhs.

    The evening before the film festival, September 22nd, The Sikh Art and Film Foundation will also be hosting a special Sikh Heritage Awards Gala. The awardees to be honored will be Jagdeep Singh, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Infinera Corporation, a leading provider of optical telecommunications equipment to communications service providers for Leadership; The Honorable Thomas P. DiNapoli, 54th Comptroller of the State of New York for Vision; and Shonali Bose, Writer, Director and Producer and Dr. Bedabrata Pain, Executive Producer and Co-Creator of the film “Amu” for Courage.

    For more information on New York City’s Fourth Annual Spinning Wheel Festival or the Sikh Heritage Awards Gala, visit www.sikharts.com or call 1-877-SIKHARTS.

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