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Sikh parade: Two worlds come together
9 p.m. — Fireworks followed by worship service and kirtan.
9 a.m. — Raising of Nishan Sahib, the Sikh flag, followed by morning worship and kirtan.
2 p.m. — Open house, tour of gurdwara complex and grounds.
6 p.m. — midnight — Rain sabaee kirtan worship service.
11 a.m. — Parade. A float bearing Guru Granth Sahib is followed by a procession of floats and devotees winding through the streets of Yuba City along a 41⁄2-mile loop.
Events are open to the public, everyone is welcome to attend. Langar, an estimated 300,000 free meals, served throughout the weekend.
They're not part of the traditional cuisine.
But the fried Punjabi burritos under construction on Wednesday will likely be a hit on Sunday with visitors to the 33rd Annual Sikh Parade in Yuba City.
"You should taste it. It will be hella good," said a smiling Sukhvir Nijjar, 26, of Yuba City, one of dozens of women in colorful traditional dress who were gathered to help prepare hundreds of pounds of food for the event.
The giant tent, pitched in the parking lot of the Sikh temple on Tierra Buena Road, was partitioned right down the middle, with men on one side, and women on the other.
Both sides were a flurry of food-related activity, but the men were responsible for most of the actual cooking.
"We are so happy that Americans come," said Nijjar, who was chopping red onions and mint beside a cluster of moms and grandmoms.
The burritos, she explained, are this year's multi-cultural creation. Each year, a new nontradtional food is invented to help introduce newcomers to the flavors of Punjab.
In recent years, the international event has attracted 60,000 to 100,000 people to the parade route, along with hundreds from the Yuba-Sutter Sikh community who pitch in to serve food and drink to anyone and everyone.
On Wednesday, Nijjar struggled to keep bits of onion from her ornately embroidered, plum-colored outfit, while she worked with her community aunties and her "biji" — grandmother.
"Look at them," she said of the ladies. "They're so happy. They are enjoying this. It's like a party."
Nijjar was born and raised in Punjab, India, and came to Yuba City at age 17.
She was placed in 10th grade, even though she spoke no English and struggled to get through school.
Now, after having become a citizen and attended two years at Yuba College, she is awaiting acceptance to the school's X-ray technician program.
Her parents do not speak English, so Nijjar lives in two worlds — the traditional one of her family and the modern one of her American friends.
This weekend's festivities are the one time each year, she said, when those two worlds come together.
"Everybody can come here and bring your family," she said. "Please enjoy it."
CONTACT Nancy Pasternack at firstname.lastname@example.org or 749-4781. Find her on Facebook at /ADnpasternack or on Twitter at @ADnpasternack.