The South Asian Times

22 August 2019 11:55 AM

Art show at Vaisakhi celebration at Indian embassy

By Surekha Vijh

Washington: Vaisakhi celebration at the Indian Embassy Residence on May 11 once again was a vibrant, ebullient event highlighting the rich culture of northern India, primarily the state of Punjab. 

But this year’s celebrations were marked by some 19th century Sikh artifacts exhibited for the first time, including musical instruments, drawings, silk embroideries and paintings of the gurus.

More than 20 borrowed pieces were earlier shown  at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History while others were from the private collection of Parwinder Singh Khanuja of Phoenix, AZ.

The artifacts included 19th century portraits of Sikh gurus in ink and color on paper, embroidered ten gurus with Guru Nanak’s sons and Guru Granth Sahib, block printed gold colored motifs and others. Musical instruments included sarangi, tumbi, rubab, eiktara, tabla, stringed instruments and some shields and swords.

Ambassador Harsh Vardhan Shringla welcoming the guests said Vaisakhi was a very special occasion for all Indians as it was not limited to Punjab or to the Sikh communityr. “It is celebrated in different ways all over the country and often known by other names.” But he added that for Punjab, Vaisakhi was a significant day as it marked the birth of the Khalsa created by the tenth Guru Gobind Singh, who brought people from all walks of life together.

The cultural program included bhangra and gidda, songs and martial arts.

More than 200 prominent peoples, including Sikh-Americans, participated in the celebration. The two-and-half hour program started with a traditional shabd kirtan presented by the Sikh Foundation of Virginia.

Update: 26 May, 2019