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The Daily Tar Heel

Learn how to tie a turban on Friday

UNC students participate in Carolina Khalsa’s Tie a Turban Day last year. This year’s event will be Friday in the Pit at 10:30 a.m. Photo courtesy of Kulpreet Singh.

The Sikh Gurdwara of North Carolina and Carolina Khalsa are hosting UNC-Chapel Hill Tie a Turban Day on Friday in The Pit from 10:30 to 1:30 p.m.

Tie a Turban day is an annual event hosted by Carolina Khalsa, a student Sikh group, to teach students and faculty about Sikh culture. 

“Tie a Turban Day is an event to educate the public about the identity of a practitioner of the Sikh faith,” Carolina Khalsa senior Preeya Deol said in a message to The Daily Tar Heel. “Many have misconceptions about who Sikhs are and what we stand for. Our purpose is to educate. We desire to be recognized and treat others with the respect as all human beings should be.”

Adult members of the Sikh Gurdwara of North Carolina in Durham also help Carolina Khalsa run the event. Kulpreet Singh, the PR chairperson of the organization, said a gurdwara is comparable to a church.

“These kids came up with this idea on their own, and they’ve been doing it for the last several years,” Singh said. “It’s a great activity. I’m pretty humbled and proud.”

At the event, members of Carolina Khalsa and the Gurdwara will have tables set up with photos and information. 

“We have turbans, there are different colors, Carolina blue being the dominant color, obviously, and we tie them on people’s heads who want to be entertained like that,” Singh said. “While we’re tying the turban on somebody’s head, we’re generally informing people if they ask any questions, we give them a little spiel about what we believe.”

Singh said at past Tie a Turban events, the group had great conversations with UNC students and professors. 

“The goal behind it is not to necessarily convert anybody, or anything like that. It’s basically to inform people that, yes, there is a small minority of Sikhs in the U.S., within the state of North Carolina, within this RTP area and especially UNC’s campus,” Singh said. 

Singh said the goal of educating people about Sikh customs and turbans became more important after 9/11.

“The significance of the turban is that we can be recognized and help serve the communities that are in need of help. Sikhs desire that all (are) treated equally regardless of sex, socioeconomic status or faith,” Deol said. “All humans are equal and that’s what we want to share with the community. We are normal people, just like everyone else.”

Seeing students and faculty make an effort to learn about Sikh faith and culture is a special part of the event for some members of Carolina Khalsa and the Gurdwara.

“As I was walking away from the event, I see way far away a little turban walking around on some person’s head, who has nothing to do with Sikh faith, but for that day, they identified with who we are, and made that grand effort to do that,” Singh said. “That’s the idea.” 


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