Cleveland Sikhs spread message of peace, equality at Public Square

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - After more than a decade hiatus, a popular cultural gathering has officially returned to Cleveland.

"Often times when people see someone like me, they see the turban, and quite frankly, they probably think of religious extremism or terrorism," said Gurwin Ahuja.

It's a common misconception that Gurwin and the rest of the Sikh Community are trying to revamp in the eyes of someone on the outside looking in.

"What people don't know is that the turban represents a commitment to equality," said Gurwin.

Their message is pretty clear: they're a people of peace.

"We believe in all the religions, but we follow this religion because we believe in equality and love," said Mohina Ahuja.

Hundreds flooded the grounds of Public Square Saturday morning to embrace and spread knowledge of their culture to those unaware, like Cyril Jackson who was just passing by.

"I saw this parade and there were some people who invited me and many others to come on down here to public square to partake in some of their good food and learn a little bit about them," said Jackson.

He says he was honestly surprised by ho hospitable the people were.

At the end of the day, they want everyone to know that they're American's first.

"These are our values, but we're also Americans and that brings us together," said Gurwin.

"This soil has helped me grow and it has really gotten me into the balance of life. I want to say Thank You and God bless America," said Baltek Singh

The event is expected to continue next year.

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