An estimated 10,000 Norwegians stood in long lines over the weekend to experience Sikh culture and the art of having their heads and hair wrapped up in turbans. It was another huge turnout for what’s become an annual event in the Norwegian capital.
Local Sikhs were celebrating their own holiday season, vaisakhi, by hosting “Norwegian Turban Day” on Saturday. It began this year with a parade led by mounted police from Oslo’s central train station up Karl Johans Gate to the central area between Parliament and the National Theater known as Spikersuppa. Participants were offered Indian food while waiting for their turn in the turban line, which at times stretched all the way back down Karl Johans Gate to the square known as Egertorget.
“We want to tell the world about sikhism, and that even though we have beards and wear turbans, we’re not dangerous,” organizer Summet Singh Patpatia told newspaper Aftenposten. Earlier versions of “Norwegian Turban Day” have been held in the large plaza outside City Hall, with curious participants also lining up to undergo the elaborate ritual of donning a turban.