Commissioner Lorraine Cochran-Johnson and Chief of Staff, Leah Davis, participated in Vaisakhi Day with the Sikh Study Circle of Stone Mountain on Sunday, May 5, 2019. Commissioner Cochran-Johnson was an invited speaker along with state representative Viola Davis, District 87. Commissioner Cochran Johnson, Ms. Davis, and Representative Davis were presented with the Vaisakhi 2019 Award for Passion, Commitment and Dedicated Service.
The annual Sikh festival ‘Vaisakhi Day’ celebration included devotional music, cultural programs, exhibits of Sikhism and display Sikh martial arts. Members from all Sikh Gurudwaras (place of worship) including Stone Mountain Norcross, Roswell, and Tucker congregated to celebrate the annual Vaisakhi day at the Stone Mountain Gurudwara.
Vaisakhi Day is important as it marks the Sikh new year and commemorates the formation of Khalsa Panth, the inner core of the Sikh faith, under the tenth Sikh Guru Gobind Singh in 1699 over 300 years ago. It is a spring harvest festival that also celebrates the celebration of the Sikh community’s rich and diverse heritage.
Georgia has about 3000 Sikhs, with the majority residing in the metro Atlanta area (Sikh Study Circle, 2019). The first Sikh families arrived in Atlanta over 50 years ago in the 1960s. Subsequently, the Sikh Study Circle was founded in 1971, which was spearheaded by Dr. Gopal Singh along with Dr. Gulbarg Singh Basi. The Sikh Study Circle Gurdwara was the first center of spiritual learning for Sikhs in the Atlanta area.
Below are photos from the Sikh festival ‘Vaisakhi Day’ celebration.