Sikhs reflect on national tragedy | Durham County | Indy Week
Pin It

Sikhs reflect on national tragedy 

Sherry Dayal prays during the gathering at the Sikh Gurudwara of North Carolina in Durham to honor the victims of the Oak Creek shooting.

Photo by Sam Trull

Sherry Dayal prays during the gathering at the Sikh Gurudwara of North Carolina in Durham to honor the victims of the Oak Creek shooting.

As national news stations were reporting that Wade Michael Page had shot and killed six people at a Sikh gurdwara in Wisconsin on Aug. 5, Sikhs in Durham, unaware of what was happening, read scriptures for a local child's birthday celebration.

Less than a week later, members of the Sikh Gurudwara of N.C. again read scriptures, this time for 48 consecutive hours, to remember the victims of the shooting.

"Anything that needs to be celebrated or honored, we do a reading," said Parminder Kaul Dhillon, a board member of the temple.

Hidden behind the Braggtown Baptist Church in North Durham, the Sikh Gurudwara of N.C. is decorated with a tall orange banner. Traditionally called the Nishan Sahib, the banner signifies the presence of the gurdwara, the central place of worship for practicing Sikhs.

With an estimated 500,000 members, Sikhism is the fifth most-practiced religion in the world, although it's relatively new to the United States and the Triangle.

The first Sikh families came to North Carolina in the late 1960s, most of them looking for jobs in the medical and teaching professions. Dhillon arrived in Smithfield in 1975. She and her husband were instrumental in overseeing the construction of the gurdwara in the 1980s.

At last week's community vigil, speakers emphasized the importance of forgiveness and humanity.

"Sikhs believe in chardikala," said Paramjeet Singh, a temple board member. "[It] means this is the will of God and we have to accept that ... [and] keep on moving forward."

A fundamental tenet of Sikhism is an acceptance and equal treatment of all people, including Page. "As a Sikh, first and foremost, the most important thing is to pray for every human being," Singh said. "Yes, Mr. Page killed a few of the community members, but as a Sikh, it's my fundamental responsibility to pray for him too, and I have been praying for him and his family."

Dhillon agreed.

"We have no hatred for him," she said. "Hatred is not going to solve the problem."

A longer version of this story appeared on Triangulator, the Indy's news blog. Mechelle Henderson is an intern at the Independent Weekly.

This article appeared in print with the headline "We have no hatred for him."

Speaking of Sikh Gurudwara

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Durham County



Twitter Activity

Comments

As politics, and the judiciary in particular , become more ideological, how does expertise now weigh in the balance?

by Solomon Burnette on Judicial Candidates Used to Eschew Ideology. Not This Year. Not in Durham. (Durham County)

- in response to Mike Moore's last question:
documented below, by M1; what?
you think the cops, who …

by Chris Tiffany on The Durham Jail Charges Detainees Extra for Commissary Items, Then Uses That Money to Pay for Things Like Blankets and Sheets (Durham County)

Most Recent Comments

As politics, and the judiciary in particular , become more ideological, how does expertise now weigh in the balance?

by Solomon Burnette on Judicial Candidates Used to Eschew Ideology. Not This Year. Not in Durham. (Durham County)

- in response to Mike Moore's last question:
documented below, by M1; what?
you think the cops, who …

by Chris Tiffany on The Durham Jail Charges Detainees Extra for Commissary Items, Then Uses That Money to Pay for Things Like Blankets and Sheets (Durham County)

And other than your own head, where was this story of the group of innocent men documented? Jail is an …

by Mike Moore on The Durham Jail Charges Detainees Extra for Commissary Items, Then Uses That Money to Pay for Things Like Blankets and Sheets (Durham County)

The other week, I witnessed the Durham police department unlawfully arrest a group of young black men with absolutely no …

by M 1 on The Durham Jail Charges Detainees Extra for Commissary Items, Then Uses That Money to Pay for Things Like Blankets and Sheets (Durham County)

These people are already being a burden on the rest of us by being engaging in behaviours that put them …

by Mike Moore on The Durham Jail Charges Detainees Extra for Commissary Items, Then Uses That Money to Pay for Things Like Blankets and Sheets (Durham County)

© 2018 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation