‘ANAND KARAJ’ OF JASDEEP SINGH SANDU AND JESSICA NICOLE DIXON
In a spectacular ceremony of color and music, Jasdeep Singh Sandhu and Jessica Nicole Dixon celebrated their wedding on July 5, 2008. The Sikh wedding tradition, which is known as Anand Karaj, can be translated directly as ‘Blissful Union’, and the Visionalist crew who was honored to witness it can attest to the beauty of the service, which unfolded beneath one of the most weather-perfect days in 2008.
Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh Holy book, was a central feature of the ceremony, which unfolded before a crowd at the Shenandoah Country Club in West Bloomfield. The wedding party was equally represented by American and Indians as the bride is of American derivation.
As is traditional in a Sikh ceremony, Jasdeep Sandhu entered before Jessica, and joined the congregation which had gathered in front of the Guru Granth Sahib. As the groom, his seat in front of the Holy Book was on the right side of the hall, and shortly afterwards, the bride took her place on his left. As the ritual unfolded, including an ‘Ardas’, which seeks the blessings of Waheguru, the Great Giver of Knowledge, and begging Waheguru's grace on the couple while they, along with their parents, stood. Meanwhile, the Ragis (Sikh religious musicians) sang traditional hymns. These described the progression of marital love as well as the longing of the human soul for God, cornerstones of Sikh religious belief.
Jessica’s father joined his daughter and Jasdeep symbolically by placing one end of the groom’s scarf into the bride’s hand to signify that he gave his blessing to the couple. The main portion of the Anand Karaj then began, the reading and then the singing of each laav in turn. When the Laav is sung, the couple as a pair circled the Guru Granth Sahib, each time they making a commitment to God with the Guru as spiritual witness and support, reminded that the Guru would be the center of their life in the years ahead.
The ceremony ended with the congregation sharing ‘parshad’, a pastry made of flour, sugar and butter.
Chain Sandhu, the groom’s father, is well known throughout Detroit as the CEO of NYX. Having acquired the automotive supplier in 1989, Mr. Sandhu has successfully built a multi-million dollar enterprise with people, technology and quality as the cornerstones of his 'invest and grow' strategy. Mr. Sandhu has been honored with several awards including the Ernst & Young 'Entrepreneur of the Year' award (2000), Hank Aguirre 'Humanitarian award' from MMBDC (1999) and the 'Entrepreneur Achievement Award' from TIE. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the MMBDC (Michigan Minority Business Development Council) and APACC. He is also a charter member of TIE and chairman of the Sikh foundation.
The evening offered a marvelous dinner of both Italian American and Indian specialties, and the couple began their together with the moving speeches of Jasdeep’s elder brother and Jessica’s brother as well.