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Turban Day

Turban Up event at U of Guelph promotes unity, understanding

Guelph Mercury
March 9, 2018

Every year, for one day only, the Guelph Sikh Students’ Association transforms the University Centre into a sea of brightly-coloured material, dotted with deep conversations that promote unity and understanding between students.

The annual Turban Up event was held on Thursday, March 8 at the University of Guelph. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., organizers from the SSA measured out colourful pieces of cloth and tied turbans on the heads of students and community members who were interested in learning more about the Sikh faith. Many tried wearing a turban for the first time.

Organizer Antarpreet Kaur said the event gave Sikh community members the opportunity to talk about the Sikh religion and their peers unfamiliar with the faith, learn a little more about it. “A lot of people don’t even know what Sikhism is,” Kaur said.

By encouraging others to wear a turban for the day, it helps break down walls of ignorance. It allows a conversation to take place about what the religion is all about, removing any barriers or stereotypes that might be held, she said.

As this year’s Turban Up event coincided with International Women’s Day, Kaur said many of the conversations focused on gender equality and the roles women have played in Sikh history.

Two of the main tenets of Sikhism are equality and freedom, she said. As participants sat on platforms and underwent the process of wearing a turban, organizers were able to speak about these principles.

Kaur said as far as individual participation goes, the Turban Up event is one of the biggest draws held in the University Centre. It’s definitely the biggest and most important event the SSA hosts, she said.

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