Lexington Sikhs invite community to open celebration
Sunday is an important day in the faith of Sikhism; it's the 550th anniversary of the founder's birth. Sikhs in Lexington opened their doors to anyone who wanted to learn more, in honor of the special day.
When you walk into the Gurudwara, you take off your shoes and cover your head, just like in other Indian religions.
But Surjit Singh Dhrooper says people only see the similarities in common Indian culture.
"Since Sikh men wear turbans and have beards, they are often mistaken as Muslims," said Sikh community member Surjit Singh Dhrooper.
Sikhism is the fifth-largest religion in the world. Here in Kentucky, it's not as prominent. Dhooper and others in the Sikh community want to teach people here about their culture.
"In Sikh faith, there is no Heaven, and there is no Hell," said Dhrooper.
Dhrooper says there are more similarities than differences. The overall goal is to be a good person while here on earth, and focusing on five qualities that other religions value too.
"Loving, giving, just, gracious, fearless."
That's why the Gurudwara opened its doors to the community and leaders like Chief Lawrence Weathers from the Lexington Police Department.
"I'm learning quite a bit," said Chief Lawrence Weathers. "I think part of our job and responsibility as police officers is to know our community as best we can."
He says he sees those similarities.
"Everybody wants the same thing. Everybody wants to be happy, everybody wants to be safe, and everybody wants to get along," said Chief Weathers.
They agree that the community is more than the shoes and head coverings we may or may not wear.
"Under this skin... we are all alike," said Dhrooper.