Sunday, December 23, 2007

Photos from Reading Sikhi Camp!

On the Saturday, the campers were divided into three groups: 5-10 years old, 11-14 years old, and 15 years old and above (parents and adults). In the morning there was group work, discussions and a talk. The younger children also watched a film. Then there was langar. It was great to see all the children sit on the floor and first do simran and then eat Langar. After lunch there were two classes. The younger children also got opportunity to learn how to tie dastaars. As usual, all the children loved to have a dastaar tied on their head and even one aunty jee asked to have one tied on her. Really Chardikalaa!

Here's a few photos:

Bhaji Harbir Singh jee (Southall) taking the youngest group and talking about the Sahibzaadey's jeevan and sacrifice.

5-10 years old group discussing and writing down ideas about Sahibzaadey and the basics of Gurmat.

5-10 years old children presenting their work to the others.

Bhaji Gurpreet Singh (Woolwich) and Bhaji Harbir Singh taking the 11-14 years old group and discussing Seva, Simran and Naam.

15 years + men's group discussing about Panj Chor and how they can affect us and the possible solutions.

Ladies group discussing about the challenges that may arise when trying to implement the basic principles of Naam Japnaa, Vand Chhaknaa and Kirat Karni in our everyday practical lives and the solutions.

15 years+ girl's group discussing how we can implement the basic principles of Gurmat in our daily lives and the benefits to the individual, the family and society.

Younger children watching the film "Sahibzaadey".

In the evening diwaan, after Rehraas the Sangat did Simran together followed by Ardaas and Hukamnama. After langar there was a Keertan Darbaar with Akhand Keertan (continuous Keertan) till 10.30pm. Dhan Guru Nanak! Amazing day and I was very fortunate of being able to have darshan (able to meet) so many inspiring souls - young and old.

On the Sunday, the camp started at 9am, after the morning breakfast of pakoray, samosay, jaleebee's and gulaab jamon. There was a talk on Gursikhi Jeevan (the life of a Gursikh) followed by Q&A. Afterwards there was a Dastaar tying session where boys, girls and their parents (including aunty jees) had Dastaars tied on them. It was very inspiring to see the courage of the sisters, in particular the parents of the campers, who took the step to try out wearing a dastaar and walking into the main diwaan with their crown. The young children and everyone radiated the Khalsa's glory and the beauty of the Guru's image.

Dhan Hai Guru, Dhan Hai Teri Sikhi!


Ravjeet Singh said...

The kids are doing a quiz in pic 2, 3, and 4. :P

Anonymous said...


Spiritual Inquiry with Khanda & Heart


Handsworth Mela – dishonour, behzti – is this the state of Sikhi???

“Jin Bhe adab na baani dhara, jano so sikh nehi hamara”

“ He who has no fear or respect of Gurbani, know that he is not my Sikh.”

(Extract from Sikh Rehatnama)

BEADBI (intentional and unintentional disrespect) of Maharaaj Guru Granth Sahib jee is something that as Sikhs we cannot, and will not tolerate. Currently there is general unrest in the Sikh youth as more importance has been placed on this issue from Sikhs worldwide over recent years.

We don’t take Guru Maharaaj into halls, hotels, pubs and clubs because of our love and respect for Guru ji, but then why do we take maharaaj into tents which have previously been used for similar or unknown purposes. The tents and carpets used for Maharaaj’s Darbar at the Handswoth mela are hired. Who knows what takes place in that tent before we as the Sikhs use it for our darbar.

Even maharaaj Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s horse would not enter a field where tobacco was planted. Yet we annually take saroop’s of Maharaaj Guru Granth Sahib Ji in to an environment where tobacco stubs litter the ground and where people enter under the intoxication of various substances, be it unintentionally, this is something that must be evaluated and changed as there is continued discontent in the Sikh youth.

Do you think it is acceptable to take Maharaaj into areas with rave type atmospheres, loud and noisy music, rides, with inappropriate social interaction, with a non-existent dress code, where people smoke and drink. The problem lies not with the mela in principle but whether or not we are showing true respect for Guru jee if people are all out enjoying themselves. This isn’t even taking into account the recent bad publicity we have received from last years detrimental shenanigans with the “Sikh on Sikh” violence. Just type “vaisakhi mela” and “BBC” into and see the negative social profiling of Sikhs in the media coverage as well as the camera phone videos of bhangra and Punjabi gang/thug/yob culture. Then think and decide for yourself… Are these really Sikh values? Are we moving forwards? If so towards what? Why are we continually causing confusion between religion and culture?

What do you think is the point of a empty darbar in a field full of people who are spending their time in the park – on rides, with friends, eating and socialising at what is now a cultural vaisakhi mela.

On the other hand the mela is good for a few Sikh businesses, the income of the ice cream men, a few key stalls selling merchandise or food and for those running the fun fair. Is this the real Vaisakhi???

“If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything”

With older generations of the Sikh community currently questioning the purpose and actual parchar of a mela, we are merely suggesting careful planning so as the youth and older community members can work together to try to avoid the disrespect and BEADBI that is prevalent in the “Vaisakhi” mela as it is. Please sign up on the petition via the website below to express your concerns towards organisers. Feel free to make comments in an appropriate and civilised manner. Many Thanks…

Anonymous said...

bhai sahib ji - could you post something up on the topic above?