USA – For many years, a Calendar of Observance created by the Anti-Defamation League has been used nationally as a tool to address diversity and religious accommodation issues in United States public schools.
The calendar previously included important religious holidays observed by the following faiths: American Orthodox Christian, Bahá'í, Buddhist, Christian, Eastern Christian, Hindu, Islamic (Shi'a), Islamic (Sunni), Jewish, Western Christian, and Zoroastrian.
But it did not include Sikhism.
Now for the first time, some of the most important Sikh holidays and observances are included into the 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 calendars. UNITED SIKHS worked closely with the Anti-Defamation League's Florida office to have the Sikh holidays listed with their respective dates and an explanation of each day's significance.
The calendar is placed in ADL's No Place for Hate Guides which go to over 1,500 participating schools. Denver, Colorado produces a print version of the calendar and distributes 25,000 of them out as well. This means thousands of schools and students are being educated on Sikh holidays!
The 2015-2018 calendars all include the following Sikh holidays:
- - Guru Nanak Dev Ji's Birthday
- - Guru Gobind Singh Ji's Birthday
- - Vaisakhi
- - Bandi-Chhor Diwas
- - Holla Mohalla
- - Gur-Gaddi Guru Granth Sahib
With approximately 69% of turbaned Sikh youths being bullied in schools, UNITED SIKHS has remained committed to educating Sikh students on how to deal with bullying while educating non-Sikh students about Sikhism through our Anti-Bullying Campaign.
The inclusion of Sikhism into this calendar will further assist the Anti-Bullying Campaign and the community to educate public schools on the Sikh faith and its important days of observance. Schools who use it have said it helped with more inclusive and thoughtful scheduling.
"The purpose of ADL's interfaith calendar of observances is to enhance mutual understanding by reflecting America's ever expanding religious diversity. The new year presented an opportune time to recognize the Sikh community and its rich religious traditions," said David Waren, Anti-Defamation League Director of Education.
We would like to thank the Anti-Defamation League, especially David Barkey from their Florida office, for working with us to include Sikh holidays into the calendar.
We encourage the Sikh community to distribute these calendars to your child'ts school to provide them with a guide for religious tolerance amongst youth. The calendar can also be taken to your place of employment and given to colleagues, friends, and neighbors.
Please support us as we support Sikh youth and continue to work towards bringing religious tolerance and education into their schools.
International Civil and Human Rights Advocacy (ICHRA)