Sikh community holds open house to spread awareness, decrease hate

Posted: Updated:
Members of the local Sikh community held an open house Sunday in Glendale. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Members of the local Sikh community held an open house Sunday in Glendale. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
At the end of every Sikh service, they serve a community meal called langar. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) At the end of every Sikh service, they serve a community meal called langar. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The Sikh religion is the fifth largest religion in the world. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The Sikh religion is the fifth largest religion in the world. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
GLENDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Members of the local Sikh community held an open house Sunday, as part of a national effort to help people get a better understanding of the religion.

"This place is called a gurdwara," said Harkanwal Singh Sachdev. "It is the Sikh place of worship. For lack of a better word, it is a temple, but we refer to it as a gurdwara in our community."

Sachdev said the gurdwara, located at 51st Avenue and the Loop 101 in Glendale, is also considered a community center. Sunday, they welcomed in the general public to share their religion.

"There's about 5,000 Sikhs that live here currently," Sachdev said. "We've been here well over 65 years."

There are 20 to 25 million Sikhs worldwide, Sachdev said. The Sikh religion is the fifth largest religion in the world. 

"We share the same values and goals as everyone else, we're a peace-loving religion," Sachdev said.

At the end of every Sikh service, they serve a community meal called langar. 

"Langar is coming together or everyone regardless of race, gender and social status, sitting on the floor, side by side, eating together and showing everyone is equal in the eyes of God," said Anjleen Kaur Gumer.

She said she hopes people walk away from their open house with a better understanding and a meaningful connection.  

"They walk away with a Sikh friend today, and they walk away with a neighbor," Gumer said.

Unfortunately, the Sikh community has been a target for discrimination. 

[RELATED: Sikh community asks Phoenix Police to patrol near temples (Aug. 5, 2012)]

"The first hate crime that was a murder after 9/11 occurred here, on September 15, 2001," Sachdev said. "We're hopeful that ignorance is not the norm, and we know with a little bit of education, people will understand who we are."

Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


Lindsey ReiserLindsey Reiser is a Scottsdale native and an award-winning multimedia journalist.

Click to learn more about Lindsey

Lindsey Reiser

Lindsey returned to the Valley in 2010 after covering border and immigration issues in El Paso, TX. While in El Paso she investigated public corruption, uncovered poor business practices, and routinely reported on the violence across the border.

Lindsey feels honored to have several awards under her belt, including a Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Award, Hearst Journalist Award, and several National Broadcast Education Association Awards.

Lindsey is a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, and she currently serves as a mentor to journalism students. She studied for a semester in Alicante, Spain and also earned a degree in Spanish at ASU.

She is proud to serve as a member of United Blood Services’ Community Leadership Council, a volunteer advisory board for the UBS of Arizona.

Hide bio