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Thousands of people paraded through Dandenong’s streets to mark the annual celebration of Vaisakhi.
It marks the birthday of Khalsa and participants wear special religious outfits, mainly blue, white or orange in colour decorated with religious symbols.
Wild weather on Sunday 9 April didn’t keep crowds away from the Gurudwara Sri Guru Granth Sahib Keysborough procession through central Dandenong.
“The celebration of the birth of Khalsa is an extremely joyous occasion for Sikhs,” the temple’s president Nirmal Singh Sekhon said.
“Sikhs all around the world gather in big groups in their local area and march in the form of a procession while singing praises of the Guru and the Almighty as this is their way of celebrating.”
Nirmal explained that the celebration marked the Sikhs receiving a new identity through baptism on 14 April 1699.
He said that before that day the Sikhs – followers of the House of Guru Nanak – were not required to follow a strict code of conduct.
Any follower who is initiated through the baptism is called Khalsa.
“The word Khalsa means pure. A Khalsa should have a pure body and pure mind,” Nirmal said.
“To be a Sikh, one has to submit his body and mind to the Guru.
“Leaving all ego behind, one is left with nothing but purity.
“A baptised Sikh must wear five Ks, cover their head and body in a decent manner and not cut any hair on the body.
“A Sikh is required to be honest, kind, compassionate and caring.”
They also meditate and help the needy, particularly through food vans and temples.
“Every Sikh temple is equipped with a community kitchen and a dining hall where any needy person can come and enjoy free food,” Nirmal said.

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