Like Vaisakhi and Holla Mahalla, the Guru Granth Sahib Gurgaddi Diwas at Yuba City has emerged as the central festival (Jor Mela) of the North American Sikhs. Yuba City is generally described by the Sikhs as the little Punjab, a slice of native culture transplanted amidst a sprawling terrain of western culture. Thirty-five percent of the land in the county is owned by the Sikhs who have extensive orchards and crop lands.

Nine years back, the initiative for holding the celebrations was taken by the Gurdwara committee of the Tierra Buena Road Gurdwara under the stewardship of S. Didar Singh Bains. Year after year the Sikhs from all over the United States and Canada now come to participate in the day long celebrations marking the historic event of the coronation of Guru Granth Sahib by the tenth Master, Guru Gobind Singh. On ‘his day in November, 1708, Guru Gobind Singh formally installed Guru Granth Sahibas the living Guru for the Sikhs at a simple ceremony at Nanded popularly known as Hazoor Sahib. He ordained every Sikh to seek guidance, knowledge and solace from the Holy Scripture and act within the discipline of the Word. “All those who seek the Lord Almighty, will find him in his Word,” quoted he.

Colorful floats depicting scenes from the turbulent Sikh history and culture form a distinguishing feature of the cavalcade that follows the Guru Granth Sahib borne on a tastefully decorated vehicle with groups of singers reciting holy hymns. The cavalcade winds its way through a specially marked route and returns to the Gurdwara where a diwan is held in which Sikh scholars discourse on the philosophy and message of the Gurus. Various Sikh organizations also hold their political conferences on his occasion and inform the people about the plight of Sikhs in India.

Within a short period of nine years, the celebration has bloomed into a full-fledged religion-social festival. Sikhs celebrate it with the same passion and enthusiasm as Vaisakhi, Holla Mahala, Diwali etc. are celebrated in Punjab. The county has declared the day as Guru Granth Sahib Day. Important government functionaries and elected representatives of the area including Assemblymen and Congressmen often attend the function and the local non-Sikh population shows keen interest and loves to watch the parade.

This year the parade is scheduled for November 6, 1988. The cavalcade will start at 11 a.m. from Gurdwara Tierra Buena Road at 11 a.m. It will return to the Gurdwara at 3 p.m. The Gurdwara management expects that over 10,000 Sikhs will participate in the parade which invariably receives extensive radio and T.V, coverage.

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Article extracted from this publication >> November 4, 1988