Guru celebrations for Coffs' Sikhs
FOUR preachers from India joined resident priest Gurmandip Singh and members of the Sikh community in Woolgoolga and Coffs Harbour for the weekend celebrations to mark the birthday of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of the Sikh faith.
The president of the committee of the Guru Nanak Sikh Temple, Joginder Singh, said there was a good turn-up for the event, especially as the celebration fell during the blueberry harvest, which always affected numbers.
He said members of the Woolgoolga Fire Brigade had attended and handed out balloons and colouring books to the children and other interested people has also joined the Sikh community during the weekend.
Children had learned hymns written by Guru Nanak Dev to sing during the ceremony and relays of preachers and members of the congregation had read through the entire 1430 pages of the Sikh scriptures from 10am Friday until 10am Sunday, with each Punjabi reader reading for two hours at a time and handing over smoothly to the next reader so there were no breaks in the scripture, either by day or by night.
Massive cauldrons of vegetarian food were kept simmering in the temple kitchen to provide free meals for all those visiting the temple during the weekend.
The free meals are part of the Sikh religious tradition, established by the guru not only to help feed India’s many hungry mouths, but to help break down the barriers imposed by caste, with everybody at the temple eating together.
The guru’s birthday is considered as important to the Sikh community as is Christmas to Christians.