The Norwegian Turban Day
– World’s largest heart formed by volunteers with turban
On 11 April, we are inviting entire Norway to feel, smell and try a turban, which they get to take home with them. With several thousand people attending from all over Norway, all dressed in turban, gives us the opportunity to create the world’s first heart formed with turbaned people – this is how we symbolize what the turban stands for: love.
11. April, Oslo City Hall Square (Rådhusplassen) On behalf of the approximately five thousand Sikhs in Norway, the Sikh youth, known as “Unge Sikher”, is organizing the Norwegian Turban Day for the sixth consecutive year. This event has been organized and celebrated since 2010. Over the period of six years, more than seven thousand Norwegians have received turbans from the Sikh community.
Turban (5K)The Sikhs always keep their hair unshorn, and wear a turban. In recent years we have witnessed an increased polarization in the public debate, which has been tainted with prejudices. Unfortunately, it is more challenging to stand out – especially with a turban and beard. Our aim with the Turban Day is to change the negative perception of the turban and beard, and generally the attitude towards otherness in Norway. Therefore, we are launching the turban as a symbol of solidarity, equality and freedom of religion – love for humanity.
Instead of inviting people to come to our premises, we bring our turbans to Rådhusplassen and face the society on their own terms.
We want to make Norway the best country to be different in – by reducing people’s xenophobia. We believe that by embracing otherness, Norway is a richer country. Turban Day has evolved into an international phenomenon: We have witnessed that Sikhs in other countries have adopted our concept. In spite of the fact that there are more Sikhs elsewhere, our Turban Day initiative has inspired others – precisely because we have managed to convert something “scary” into something positive and unifying.
It requires a whole year’s effort to collect material for two thousand turbans. The material is not systematically imported but collected through contributions from each individual, who bring extra turbans every time they visit India. There are more than one hundred and fifty volunteers at the site, who serve Indian meals, provide entertainment, take pictures of the visitors and etc. – for free. Volunteering is an important part of the life of a Sikh. Therefore, this event is accomplished through 100% voluntary work, without the government’s financial support. This is our humble contribution in making Norway even more open towards otherness.
World’s largest heart
We are forming world’s largest heart at the Oslo City Hall Square by turbaned people. The turban symbolizes love for humanity, selflessness, and compassion. With this colorful heart we want to spread the message of love and embrace otherness in Norway. As far as we know, this is the first time anyone as attempt to create a heart with colorful turbans.