The Senate passed a resolution sponsored by Sen. Sharon Shewmake (D-Bellingham) to honor Washington’s Sikh community and wish them a joyous celebration of the holiday Vaisakhi. Whatcom County Executive Satpal Sidhu joined the Senate for the passage of the resolution.

“The Sikh community has been an incredibly open and hospitable community where I live in Whatcom County,” said Shewmake in a floor speech on passage of the resolution. “This is a very unique holiday where it’s all about equality, it’s about making sure that we’re recognizing the humanitarian work of the Sikh community, but also the humanity in all of us. And I’m so thankful that this community has been in America, in the world, but also in my home town. And I’m so glad to honor them today.”

The passage of the resolution and speeches by several members of the Senate, including Sen. Manka Dhingra, the first Sikh legislator elected in the country, can be viewed on TVW here.

Members of the Sikh community, including Whatcom County Executive Satpal Sidhu, watching passage of the resolution from the Senate gallery

The resolution passed by the Senate reads as follows:

WHEREAS, Sikhism is a religion founded in the Punjab region of South Asia over five centuries ago and introduced to the United States in the 19th century; and

WHEREAS, Sikhism is the fifth largest religion in the world, with nearly 30,000,000 adherents from around the world, including approximately 700,000 members in the United States; and

WHEREAS, Sikh families in the United States pursue diverse professions and walks of life, making rich contributions to the economic vibrancy of the United States; and

WHEREAS, Washington State takes pride in being a place where all faiths and cultures are welcomed, respected, and celebrated; and

WHEREAS, During the month of April, the Sikh community celebrates Vaisakhi, also known as Khalsa Day, which marks the beginning of the harvest season and the Sikh New Year; and

WHEREAS, Vaisakhi is one of the most religiously significant days in Sikh history, commemorating the creation of the Khalsa, a fellowship of devout Sikhs, by Guru Gobind Singh in 1699;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Senate of the state of Washington wish our Sikh American community a very joyous Vaisakhi Celebration.