Yesterday I had a learning experience about politics and running of the New Mexico state government. The Sikh Dharma International office needed someone to take pictures for the events, so I got my camera and drove in with a few others. I thought it would be interesting break from my normal SikhNet work. I was thinking it was only going to be for a few hours and turned into a whole day affair.
Every year for (I think) 3-4 months the New Mexico Legislature get’s together and makes decisions on different bills and operations for the state. The opening session is normally a big event and many people come to participate in the opening ceremonies and speech by the Governor. This was my first time. It was pretty overwhelming seeing so many people and politicians. I felt like an alien from another planet; Shaking everyone’s hand and introducing myself as we walked around. I realized that politics is not for me. It’s definitely important to be involved in the local government though. I’m just not into the social part…since I generally like to keep to myself. You have to be pretty outgoing to do a job like this.
After the opening ceremonies the Sikh community hosted many of the local government officials to a Luncheon at India Palace (down the street) in downtown Santa Fe. This has been a tradition since 1995 that Yogi Bhajan started. There were sooo many people there and I felt like a pinball bouncing around trying to dodge the waiters bring dishes/food and people walking by. I think there were about 150 guests that came (mostly politicians from the capitol). It was a great event and people really felt the hospitality of the Sikhs. We were all hosting everyone, serving and doing everything we could to serve them. In New Mexico we have established very good personal relations with the leaders of the state so it helps when there are issues like hate Crimes, or general issues related to Sikhs. Anyways…it was a great event and a learning experience for me.
Below are some pictures from the day.