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    Monday, March 27, 2023

    Campaign aims to raise awareness about Sikh faith, history

    Norwich — The Sikh Art Gallery is sponsoring a campaign with Sikh community members to raise awareness about their history and heritage.

    More than 500 Sikh families now live in the Connecticut, and members of the community have lived in the state for over 50 years and in Norwich for more than 30 years, according to a news release this week. Connecticut also is home to six places of Sikh learning and prayer, it said.

    “This is very significant year as we commemorate 20th year of 9/11 attack,” said Swaranjit Singh Khalsa, a prominent member of the Sikh community and director of the art gallery, member of the city Board of Education and candidate for City Council. While everyone mourns the innocent lives lost in that attack, he said, it is important to educate fellow Americans about who Sikhs are, as they “were targeted in retaliation of 9/11 with hate crimes due to ignorance.”

    The initiative will educate the public on the basics of Sikh faith and terminology, names, values and why members of the community came to the United States from India and their homeland, Punjab, due to the 1984 Sikh genocide. It includes billboards in public spaces, including bus stops, with easy-to-remember hashtags that people can Google to learn more about Sikhs, the release said.

    Singh Khalsa also noted that the art gallery, at 7 Clinic Drive, also was developed to provide resources and information to the community.

    For more information, call the gallery at (757) 291-5211 or visit its website, sikhartgallery.com.

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