Turban Day is at Tauranga waterfront this weekend, providing the opportunity to witness people donning a turban and to try one on yourself.
Tauranga Turban Day, organised by Puran Singh, will be an annual event in the city, educating people about turbans and the religion Sikhism.
New Zealand is an ethnically diverse country, with the Sikh community contributing significantly towards society. The event aims to create more public awareness about Sikhism amongst the community.
Turban Day, which started in New York, was initially a small event run by a group of people keen to offer the general public an opportunity to wear a turban. News and photos about the event spread virally through social media, to the point where it became a part of the annual calendar in many countries.
In 2018, the annual Turban Day in Times Square, New York, set a world record with over 9000 turbans tied. Commemorated each year in New York since 2013, the goal is to educate people about Sikhism, which preaches the equality of all human beings.
“Turban Day is a good opportunity for everyone to understand and feel what it is like to have a turban tied on their head,” says Puran, “and to raise awareness and educate our peers and the wider community on what it means to wear the Sikh turban.”
Turban Day has been held annually in Auckland since 2016. Organised by members of the Sikh Youth New Zealand group, in collaboration with the Khalsa Foundation NZ, there have been increasing numbers of people attracted to the Auckland event each year.
The day is about inviting people from other backgrounds to better understand the Sikh culture and religious beliefs.
The Tauranga event will also highlight the rich culture of the local Sikh community and why Sikhs, both male and female, wear the turban. New five-metre turbans in all sorts of colours will be available to try on.
Each turban, also known as a dastar, takes between five-to-ten minutes to tie.
Local Sikh youth wear a dastar every day to schools and workplaces, and it is expected that Turban Day will provide the opportunity for members of the public to develop a greater understanding. It is felt that educating the NZ public will also assist in preventing Sikh children being bullied at school because they are wearing a turban.
There will be volunteers at the event who will tie the turban on anyone who would like to try it.
Tauranga Turban Day 2018 will be held on Tauranga waterfront today.