Sunday, April 08, 2007

Easter (Sikh) Parade!

So I left my apartment today to go get some coffee from our neighborhood Famima!! (a popular convenience store chain in Japan, apparently, and locally featuring the ruggedly handsome snack food Men's Pocky) and, on my way back, found the street temporarily filled by what I mistakenly at first thought must be some kind of Easter Parade (today being the day, after all) but which I soon realized was obviously some kind of Sikh parade:

Big picture on a float.

I snapped a few camera phone pics, as even in Los Angeles it is not every day a moderately sized Nagar Kirtan comes ambling down your street!

Better view of the big picture

A quick web search when I got back to the apartment answered my question (superficially at least) about what this all was:

Sunday April 8, 2007 Event: Baisakhi Time: 10am-3:30pm Location: Los Angeles Convention Center 1201 South Figueroa Street Los Angeles, CA 90015 Event Info: Baisakhi, also spelled Vaisakhi, is the festival which celebrates Sikh New Year and the founding of the Sikh community, known as the Khalsa. Come for prayer, langar, Baisakhi bazaar, Kirtan Darbar (musical program) and Nagar Kirtan (Parade)

I don't know if that always coincides with Easter, or if it's just a fluke, but it was a pleasant surprise this afternoon.

The blog is about the future, and in what ways it is an extension of the past, and what ways it breaks with it... this encounter today seems like another sign of that to me - the world has been and will continue to be more and more like this. I doubt it will ever be so homogeneous that everything appears everywhere (at least not until the heat death of the universe), and I don't mean to rehearse trite platitudes about the global village or anything, but frankly I really enjoy living in a country where an atheist can cross a street on an Easter Sunday on his way home from a Japanese convenience store and accidentally run into Sikhs performing a Gatka exhibition in a parade:

Gatka, I think.

That feels like the right kind of tomorrow to me. Thanks, Valley Sikh Temple! And Thanks, America, for still being a kind of map of what the whole world will be provided we all don't start nuking/gassing/infecting each other. Happy Baisakhi, Happy Easter, and Happy Tomorrow to everyone.

Valley Sikh Temple

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