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New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy (c), NJ state attorney general Gurbir Grewal (r) and Hoboken City Mayor Mayor Ravi Bhalla (l) were honored by the Indian Sikh American community during celebrations held with the aim to create awareness about the teachings of Guru Nanak. (photo Mohammed Jaffer-SnapsIndia)

JERSEY CITY, N.J. – More than 3,000 people attended an event billed as “Oneness: A Light for Humanity,” to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak. Together Nov. 23, at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center here, they celebrated the founder of Sikhism’s teachings of "Oneness" — equality of all races, genders, and religions.

Donning a turban, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy began his talk with the traditional greeting, "Waheguru Ji ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji ki Fateh.” He remarked, "New Jersey exhibits a vividly-colored tapestry with every person and each community contributing their own threads. How boring this tapestry would be without the Sikh Community (…) and how vibrant it is with them."

The first Indian Sikh American attorney general in the U.S., Gurbir Singh Grewal, remembered slain officer Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal, saying, “He protected his community and he sacrificed his life in service of others. In that tragedy the whole world saw what we as Sikhs know and what Guru Nanak taught us that we as Sikhs will always stand up for ‘Sarbat Da Bhala’ no matter the consequence."

The event also featured the popular comedian Hasan Minhaj, who sat down with journalist Shweta Singh and discussed Guru Nanak's teachings.

The event was organized by Let's Share a Meal in collaboration with the Sikh Chamber of Commerce Global, Dhan Guru Nanak Jatha and SAVA, according to a press release. "The event was an attempt to provide an opportunity to learn more about Guru Nanak's teachings and Sikhism," said Onkar Singh, founder of Let's Share a Meal.

Others who attended included New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez, hotelier Sant Singh Chatwal, and Jatinder Singh Bakhshi of Nanak Foods.

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