Published On: Mon, Jan 8th, 2018

Colour washes over Tauranga streets in Sikh parade

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AUCKLANDAuckland-Thousands of people dressed in every colour of the rainbow stood out against the grey, drizzly sky on Saturday.The Indian Sikh community gathered at the Gurdwara Sikh Sangat temple on Burrows St to celebrate the birthday of one of India’s most cherished spiritual leaders.Gobind Singh was the 10th and last of the human form Gurus of Sikhism who helped shape the religion.A parade of large floats, drenched in bright flower chains and clusters of balloons, led the way carrying people of all ages and thousands followed behind.The parade of laughter, chanting and smiles left from Burrows St to 14th Avenue before gathering at Tauranga Boys’ College and making its way back to the temple for a shared lunch.

Gurdwara Sikh Sangat temple president Puran Singh said it was the fifth parade Tauranga had hosted in honour of Guru Gobind Singh.”It is about our community coming together and celebrating, it is our way of showing other communities what we are about,” he said.”Today is our master’s birthday, it is the most significant day for us,” said Kharag Singh, who had travelled from Auckland for the occasion.The celebration of Guru Gobind Singh was one of the largest in New Zealand and many travelled from around the North Island to take part.”Every year it has grown, today we’ve got more than 3000 people here and some have come from as far as Auckland, Hamilton and Hastings,” Puran Singh said.The celebration was brought together by the generosity of the Sikh community as refreshments were shared throughout the day.Young men were handing out drinks, homemade curries, fruit and ice blocks to everyone who attended.Tauranga locals Prabh Sangha, 13, and Uday Bhamra, 13, were handing out drinks to the crowd.”Today is all about sharing,” Prabh said.”I think it’s great,” Uday said.”Everyone gets to see our religion and to see what our community is about.”


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