Thursday, July 20, 2006

Visit to Norway (Part 1)

As you may have noticed Daas has been away for few weeks. Last week a group of us from UK went to Oslo in Norway to hold a Gurmat Camp for parents and youngsters. We arrived in Norway on Friday 14th July in the morning. In the evening the parent’s camp was held. It was a great turn out. On the first day about 60 mothers and 20 fathers turned up. There was an ice-breaker to begin with then there was a discussion about issues parents face and what the solutions are.

The main focus was on how much time parents spend with their children. The evening concluded with Bhenji Navleen Kaur jee giving a presentation on "Rishte" (relationships) and the Guru's Wisdom in regards to building relationships with parents, children, spouse and society.

The next day, on Saturday 15th July the youngsters camp (aged 10 - 16+) began. The youngster's camp began with Ardaas and Hukamanma in Satguru Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee's hazooree (presence). The theme shabad was introduced to the campers. The shabad was:
ਸਾਜਨੜਾ ਮੇਰਾ ਸਾਜਨੜਾ ਨਿਕਟਿ ਖਲੋਇਅੜਾ ਮੇਰਾ ਸਾਜਨੜਾ ॥
saajanRaa meraa saajanRaa, nikatt khalo-i-Raa meraa saajanRaa.

Friend, my Friend - standing so near to me is my Friend!
(ang 924)
Read Full Shabad

The campers were divided in age groups. Every day the camp would begin with a morning diwaan where the theme shabad would be sung, Ardaas would be done, and a Hukamnaama would be taken and explained in simple Panjabi. Then there would be two workshops with langar in between. In the evening there would be Diwaan with Rehraas Sahib, theme shabad, folllowed by Ardaas, Hukamnaama and then Langar. Alongside the youngster's camp, Bhenji Navleen Kaur led the parent's camp. Both parents and children would meet each other during the Diwaans.

Workshops/talks were held on the following themes and topics: (1) Satguru Sri Granth Sahib jee - How to do sukhaasan, prakaash, take Hukamnaama, do Ardaas and explaining structure of Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee; (2) Respecting parents and elders through sharing Saakhis about the Guru Sahibs; (3) History of first five Guru Sahibs and Guru Arjan Dev jee's Shaheedi; (4) Leadership skills - life of Guru Gobind Singh jee's life; (5) Sacrifice - reflecting and appreciating the sacrifice of our Guru Sahibs and also our parents; (6) Discussions and Q&A; (7) Communication and team work exercises; and (8) Dramas and small sketches on issues relating to the Sikh youth and Panth with a Gurmat message.

Below are some photos of the various workshops and talks:

Talk and presentation on the Sacrifices our Guru Sahibs.

Team work exercise. Groups had to build a tower. Whoever built the tallest tower was the winner. This photo is of the winning group, which had the most younger kids in it.

Self-empowering workshop for parents using the Guru's Wisdom.

Leadership workshop. Children were asked to name the best leaders and the worse leaders then in the summary the leadership skills of Dasam Pita (Tenth Father), Guru Gobind Singh jee, was explained to the children.

Darbaar Sahib workshop with the elder youngsters group. How to take a Hukamnaama was explained and everyone had opportunity to have Darshan (a glimpse) of Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee's angs (respected word referring to 'pages'). A lot of the youngsters had not seen what Guru Jee's saroop looks like. A summary of the structure and organisation of Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee was also explained.

To be continued...


Anonymous said...

I have to ask, not out of spite, but out of curiousity--how are 20 something old people giving advice on parenting/relationships, etc to people almost double their age? These people may not be as 'wise' as you on Sikhi matters, but they are in the real world with relationships, marriages, children and the duty of providing food & shelter, that's something no one can understand until we ourselves are faced with it.

Again, this is not being critical, but being pragmatic. It's good to see people travelling to help out with camps, etc but perhaps we should think about this carefully...

Manvir Singh Khalsa said...

Anonymous Jee, good question.

Daas and Bhaji did seva with the youngsters. Bhenji Navleen Kaur did the parent's camp. It was intended to be a ladies/mother's camp but fathers also wished to participate.

In terms of profession Bhenji Navleen Kaur is a school teacher so has experience with dealing with children and she has done a Masters in Child Psychology. The Parents' workshops were based on Gurbaani and how we we can learn from Guru Sahib.

We were not there to "teach". Rather we were there as "facilitators". We learnt from one another. On the first day (Friday) the kid's camp had not began (as it started the next day) so me and Bhaji also participated in the parent's workshop. In workshops the parents highlighted problems their children have and general life issues in regards to Sikhi and their faith, and then afterwards there would be discussion and they themselves would share ideas and come up with the solutions. So, everyone learnt from one another and shared ideas. It was an opportunity for parents to share their feelings, thought, ideas, problems and solutions with one another (something which as Panjabis or any other Asian background we don't seem to do too much of).

Hope that helps.

Guru Rakha.

Anonymous said...


Do you remember me jagroshan singh from the camp in norway,i``m in chardi kala are you???+and keep on with your web site...:)

Manvir Singh Khalsa said...

Jagroshan Singh jee,
Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh.

Daas is teek taak with Guru's Kirpaa. I haven't forgotten anyone in Norway! :) Hope your family and brother are well.

Keep in Chardi Kalaa and hope you encourage the local kids to keep up the good work in learning and sharing about Sikhi.

Take care.

Manvir Singh.