The Capital Gurudwara, a Sikh temple in Rensselaer, held a celebration on Baisakhi, also known as Vaisakhi. The festival is celebrated across the globe, in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and, of course, in the United States.

The celebrations at the Capital Gurudwara comprised of prayers, with lots of religious music. The festival marks the harvest season in the Indian state of Punjab and many parts of Northern India, celebrating the arrival of spring. For Sikh Americans, it has a huge significance.

"Vaisakhi is a really significant day in Sikhism in the Sikh religion," said Mehar Singh, a youth member of the Capital Gurudwara. "Vaisakhi is a formalization of our religion, where the 10th guru or the 10th teacher in Sikhism, Gobind Singh Ji, and he gave us the gift of the Khalsa Panth which is basically the identity of a saint soldier. So somebody who prays, who meditates, who has a spiritual aspect, but also fights for the rights of others, fights for justice, at the end of the day."

These young individuals also shared that Sikhism, as a religion, advocates for equality, social and environmental justice, service to humanity and an overall acceptance of all. A big aspect of Sikhism is called “Chardikala” and it means relentless optimism, something they feel we truly need in this world right now.

“Sikhism honestly is a very beautiful religion," said Zorawar Singh, another youth member of the Capital Gurudwara. "I feel that I'm very comfortable, very at peace, especially with the whole community. And there's always such a good vibe, such good people who are always there to help you."