Monday, October 01, 2007

Duisburg Gurmat Camp, Germany (Part 1)

Daas has been away for the past week attending a Gurmat Camp that was held for Sikh youngsters in Duisburg, Germany. The camp was held from Sunday 23rd September to Sunday 30th September at Singh Sabha Gurdwara Sahib, Duisburg. Bhajee Ranjit Singh from Germany (who has done immense seva in inspiring and attracting the Sikh youth towards Sikhi through Gurmat & Keertan classes, and organising camps) organised the camp with the help of Duisburg Gurdwara Sahib and the Sangat from the surrounding areas. Bhajee Sukhwinder Singh from Birmingham also came to the camp a few days into the camp and held classes and did great Keertan seva.

Bhajee Ranjeet Singh jee went to pick me up from the airport. Once my luggage arrived I decided to go the bathroom and put my Kirpaan back on. I thought I would go to the disabled toilet, considering the arrivals area was nearly empty and it would be easier to put my Kirpaan on there. Waheguru. Well, Germany's airport is more advanced than UK. Even the toilet doors electronically opened. I tried opening the door but it wouldn't. I pushed the button and got in but then the door didn't close. Neither did the button work to close it nor could I yank the door shut. It was slightly embarrassing! Eventually I got my Siri Sahib back and then looked for the exit doors. I couldn't find them! I found a door but it was shut so I pushed it open and got out. It was slightly strange that all the people on the plane had some how got off the plane but I was all alone when coming out. I couldn't see Bhajee so I thought he must be late. 10 minutes later Bhajee came to me and said where had I been. I realised that I had got out of the wrong door and hence no one was there! Waheguru. Drama!

Over 75 youngsters from the local area as well as other parts of Germany attended the camp. Some children travelled 1 to 2 hours daily to attend the camp. Their devotion was overwhelming. Two boys came daily to the camp by bus, which took them one and a half hours. Despite the distance they even attended the early morning Amrit-Vela simran and Nitnem and took the 1am bus from where they live. Waheguru. The week long camp involved a series of classes from Keertan, Sikh History, Gurbaani Santhiyaa (training in how to pronounce and understand Gurbaani), Gatka (Sikh martial arts), training in how to tie Dastaars & Keskis (large and small turbans) and Q & A sessions. One day of the camp everyone went for a day out to the local park which is very peaceful and tranquil place.

The children were amazing and had so much enthusiasm, pyaar and dedication. There were new faces compared to the last camp in April. All the children and their parents had so much pyaar and enthusiasm. The local Granthi Singh, Giani Baba Makhan Singh jee, who does great seva in teaching the local children was away in India so everyone missed his presence in the camp.

The camp atmosphere was great. Daas met Chardi Kalaa naujawan - Bhajee Barinder Singh and his 2 brothers, Veer Ramandeep Singh & his brother, Veer Damandeep Singh, and 16 years old, Veer Tanveer Singh (who made a promise in Guru Sahib's Hazoori (presence) in the last camp that he would stop cutting his Kesh, and with Guru's Kirpaa in this camp he was wearing a Dumalaa and his aura was glowing with Chardi Kalaa). There were times of uncontrollable laughter (so much so that I needed to take my asthma inhaler everyday! Waheguru!). Hearing the personal stories of some of the Veer jees and Bhenjees and their struggles and challenges in becoming and maintaining their Sikhi brought tears to everyone's eyes and a feeling of bairaag. It was incredible to see the colours of Waheguru unfold.

The youngsters of Germany are a credit to the Panth (nation) and are showing great progress in Sikhi. May Waheguru keep them in Chardi Kalaa and bless them with more enthusiasm, spirit and strength in becoming strong Sikhs and inspiring other youngsters. The words to sum up the feeling at the end of the camp were: "Dhan Guru, Dhan Hai Teri Sikhi" (Blessed is the Guru, Blessed is Your Sikhi).

Some photos:

Bhajee Ranjeet Singh jee addressing the children.

Bhajee Ranjeet Singh jee's elder group Gatka class.

The campers' mothers joined in the fun and played a game of balancing a lemon on spoon held in their mouth. Some of them ran quite fast and did well! (Some nearly banged into the wall as they got to the finishing side. Waheguru).

Last April's camp speciality was Moolee (Parothay, Sabjee, Achaar and Salad), but this camp's speciality was PIZZA. Waheguru. Three days running there was Pizza (in the afternoon and because there were so many Pizzas, it was given out in the evening as well. At first the children screamed and ran to the Langar hall when they heard they were getting Pizza. Waheguru. By the end of the camp the children said, "I don't want Pizza... I want to eat Roti" (makes a nice change!)

Paramjeet Kaur Aunty jee with the younger children's class.

Bhajee Barinder Singh (who is studying Physics at university in Germany) talking to children about being Sikh and living in Germany.

On Thursday everyone went to the local park and lake.

Sitting down on some rocks and relaxing.

Bhai Maha Singh jee Paris Waale (a Chardi Kalaa and amazing Gursikh who recently received the gift of Amrit with his whole family) and Daas were competing to see who get the highest on the swings but unfortunately my swing got twisted and I started to swing sidewards and nearly had Bhai Sahib's foot on my face. lol. Waheguru!

Bhai Sukhwinder Singh jee (UK) competing against Bhai Maha Singh jee (France)

Children playing with the sand and water.

Eikpreet Singh (Bhajee Ranjeet Singh jee's son).

Group photo of Chardi Kalaa Singhs - Bhai Ramandeep Singh, Bhai Maha Singh jee, Bhai Tanveer Singh and Bhai Damandeep Singh.

Autny jees sitting down and relaxing.

Veer Damandeep Singh, Ramandeep Singh with Gajmeet Singh and his cousin on the walk back to the Gurdwara.

Aunty jee tied a Dastaar for the first time. Her three daughters since the last camp started to a tie a dastaar regularly everytime they come to the Gurdwara and are working towards taking Amrit and wearing a Dastaar to school as well. Also her youngest son kept his Kesh since the last camp. Everyone was proud to have a photo to capture how nice they looked in the form and image that Guru Gobind Singh jee blessed his children.

Late afternoon class of questions and answers.

In the evening we used to do Rehraas Sahib through Keertan.

Everyone eating Langar.

To be continued...


Paman Singh said...


absolutely brilliant and inspiring to see the chardikalla brothers and sisters in Germany - i wish soo much i had been there!!

Bhatta Baba

(ps typical freshie - getting locked in a toilet!!)

**-star_crazy-** said...

Bhatta Baba? wot does that mean? sounds weird.

Anonymous said...

Camp was sooooooooo awwwww!!! manvir bhaji u have to come all camps in Duisburg
everyone is so down because of ...NO Camp now!
but hey we will see as mybe in a month in paris hehe***

Yours Kiran ^^

Anonymous said...

I am so happy to read it!!
Very good..
Very nice camp.
But i could not come to the camp cause i am in uk and have to go to college.Thats so sad yhat i could not come.
Well, hope i am able to come to the next camp.
Manwinder KAur

Anonymous said...

Wjkk Wjkf Paji
all da pix r awesum n even da camp was awesummmmmmmmmm...
specially Gurmat Vicharan n Kirtan Classes...n yeah Raman Bhaji's MangoShake ofcourse lol

In wishin' dat i can attend more camps in Duisburg wid Germans such a pyaar bhari GuruPyaariSangat...

ur sis Parminder Kaur from Paris =]