The Sacramento Kings will host the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night and will be celebrating Sikh culture at the fourth annual Sikh Night.
When Vivek Ranadive first bought the Sacramento Kings, one of his goals was to bring NBA basketball to his home country of India, which included celebrating the different religious and cultural groups that India has to offer. He accomplished this by hosting the first-ever Bollywood Night during the 2013-14 season and the first-ever Sikh Night the same year.
Just a month and a half ago, Ranadive put the icing on the cake by bringing his team to Mumbai to participate in a preseason mini-series against the Indiana Pacers.
When Is Sikh Night?
This Tuesday, the Kings will host the much-improved Phoenix Suns, an event that will double as Sikh Night. This will the fourth annual celebration in what has become a very popular event for Sacramento. Though his NBA debut came a few days after Sikh Night in 2015, India’s own Sim Bhullar became the first player of Indian descent to play in an NBA game.
Why Sikh Night?
This Sikh Night is a significant event for the Sikhs of Sacramento and Northern California as this year is the 550th Birth Year of the religion (Gurpurab) that was founded by Guru Nanak in the Punjab region of India. The event is also important because hate crimes have tripled against Sikhs this year, and the night will be dedicated to remembering Sikh Police officers such as Deputy Dhaliwal, the first Sikh Police Officer in Houston, Texas who was shot and killed in September.
Social advocate and organizer of this event, Harwin Kanan, described this event’s goal as “Showing that the turban should have a positive image to it”, and “should not be associated with terrorism because it symbolizes equality, and service to others.”
(To learn more about Sikhs please read more on the Sikh Coalition here)
There are plenty of people in the mainstream media that are Sikhs. One of the most well-known and well-respected Sikhs is Toronto Raptors superfan Nav Bhatia, who gained popularity during his team’s championship run last season.
What To Expect
Those attending the event at Golden 1 Center are in for a treat. Things will kick off with pregame performances with Bhangra, a Punjabi cultural dance, and a Dhol group, a group that plays drums. During the National Anthem, members of the Sikh community including Sikh Motorcycles Club, Sikh Women, and Sikhs Serving In The Army, will hold the American flag. The event will also feature a Bhangra and Giddha (ladies dance) halftime performance as seen below and described by Jim Kozimor:
Fans are advised to arrive at the arena when doors open so that they don’t miss any of the festivities.
Where Can I Get Tickets?
To be part of the group and support the Sikh Community, click here. For every person that purchases a ticket using the link, they will be helping to feed the homeless and will receive a 50% off on the ticket purchase!
Let’s all be a part of this beautiful event, and help spread awareness about Sikhs, and also enjoy the Kings game against the Suns!