Among the local leaders at the the Sikh community’s Gurudwara building grand opening on May 5 were Matt Gilbert, city of Kent Economic and Community Development deputy director; Wade Barringer, Kent School District deputy superintendent; Satwinder Kaur, Kent City Council president; Marli Larimer, Kent City Council member; Donald Cook, Kent School Board member; Toni Troutner, Kent City Council member; and Andy Grove, Kent Police assistant chief. COURTESY PHOTO

Among the local leaders at the the Sikh community’s Gurudwara building grand opening on May 5 were Matt Gilbert, city of Kent Economic and Community Development deputy director; Wade Barringer, Kent School District deputy superintendent; Satwinder Kaur, Kent City Council president; Marli Larimer, Kent City Council member; Donald Cook, Kent School Board member; Toni Troutner, Kent City Council member; and Andy Grove, Kent Police assistant chief. COURTESY PHOTO

Sikh community celebrates grand opening in Kent of Gurudwara temple | Photos

Local leaders participate in event that drew more than 7,000 people over three days

More than 7,000 people participated in a three-day, grand-opening celebration of the Sikh community’s new Gurudwara temple along 132nd Avenue SE on Kent’s East Hill.

“We had a great turnout,” said Satwinder Kaur, a Sikh community member and Kent City Council president, in an email about the May 3-5 grand opening of the building for assembly and worship just south of South 240th Street. “The celebration was highly anticipated by the community and was quite the celebration.”

Local leaders joined the celebration, including U.S. Rep. Adam Smith, D-Bellevue, of the 9th District; King County Council President Dave Upthegrove; State Sen. Manka Dhingra, D-Redmond; Kent City Council members Toni Troutner and Marli Larimer; Kent School Board Director Donald Cook; Kent School District Deputy Superintendent Wade Barringer; Kent Police Assistant Chief Andy Grove; and City of Kent Economic Community Development Deputy Director Matt Gilbert.

“The Sikh Gurudwara grand opening is a significant milestone for our community,” Kaur said. “It represents our commitment to promoting peace, equality, and service to humanity. We believe that sharing our traditions and culture with the wider community fosters understanding and strengthens the bonds between different faiths.”

The Sikh community numbers around 50,000 in King County, according to a Sikh community spokesperson. Renton also has a large Gurudwara temple. Sikhism, which originated in India, is the sixth most popular religion in the world with about 25 million followers, according to britannica.com.

“Sikhs have a rich history of contributing positively to society,” Kaur said. “Our core values include selfless service (seva), equality (sarbat da bhala), and compassion (daya). We actively engage in community service, feeding the hungry through langar (free community kitchen) and promoting education for all.”

The Sikh community, however, at times can be misunderstood.

“While Sikhs have made significant contributions, we also face challenges related to misunderstanding and discrimination,” Kaur said. “Our distinct appearance, including turbans and beards, has sometimes led to mistaken identity and bias. We believe that events like the Gurudwara grand opening provide an opportunity to address these challenges and build a stronger community.”

The flow of people to the event led to street parking as well as use of the Martin Sortun Elementary School parking lot at 12711 SE 248th St.

A Gatka performance (Sikh martial arts) concluded the celebration.


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The Sikh community’s new Gurudwara building in Kent along 132nd Avenue SE, just south of South 240th Street. COURTESY PHOTO

The Sikh community’s new Gurudwara building in Kent along 132nd Avenue SE, just south of South 240th Street. COURTESY PHOTO

More than 7,000 people attended the three-day celebration. COURTESY PHOTO

More than 7,000 people attended the three-day celebration. COURTESY PHOTO

Kent City Councilmember Marli Larimer was among several local leaders who spoke during the grand opening. COURTESY PHOTO

Kent City Councilmember Marli Larimer was among several local leaders who spoke during the grand opening. COURTESY PHOTO

U.S. Rep. Adam Smith speaks at the grand opening. COURTESY PHOTO

U.S. Rep. Adam Smith speaks at the grand opening. COURTESY PHOTO

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