American Turban

Fitting in with the Sikhs of Tracy, CA

Jon Mendelson, of the Tracy Press, writes about his visit to the Gurdwara in Tracy, California:

Earlier this month, two Sikhs walking down the side of the road in Elk Grove while wearing turbans were shot down, one fatally. Police say there’s no apparent motive, but common sense screams hate crime, that some ignoramus wanted to send a message — you don’t belong here.

It’s stunning irony. Because if that unknown thug had talked instead of shot, he probably would have found himself treated to comfort that would put the famed Southern hospitality to shame.

If you doubt, take a visit to a local Sikh temple, as I did this past Sunday, when I joined several hundred believers for an annual festival of prosperity.

This time, it wasn’t a faithful man in a turban who was in unknown territory — it was me. But even though I was only one of a handful of folks there who weren’t Sikh, I didn’t feel like a stranger for long.

His experience in the Gurdwara as an outsider welcomed among outsiders is a touching narrative.

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