Thousands of Sikhs from across the Midwest are expected in downtown Indianapolis Saturday for what organizers say is the first of an annual community celebration.
There are more than 50,000 adherents of the Sikh faith in the Midwest, and about 5 thousand live in central Indiana, says Gurinder Singh, the president of the Sikh Society of Indiana. The community has grown substantially in the last 10 years, he says, fueled by inmigration from places like California and New York.
"Indiana is one of the few states where it’s very easy to start your business and there are not too many difficulties compared to bigger states like California. Number one is business climate; number two is the affordability of houses; and number three is now we have enough community where they feel comfortable, so they will not feel so isolated," he said.
Singh said the event aimed at raising the visibility of the Sikh faith and culture.
They’ll gather at the Indiana War Memorial Plaza and the day includes a parade through downtown streets beginning at noon and an appearance by Gov. Mike Pence. It's open to the public.
Sikhism is one of the world's major religions, with more than 25 million adherents worldwide.