Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Saturday at Gravesend



Last Saturday, "British Sikhs: Past, Present and Future" was held at Woodville Halls, Windmill Street, Gravesend. It was a free event organised by the Gravesham Borough Council, North West Kent Racial Equality Council and the Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara, Gravesend.

The event showcased a photographic exhibition, including material from the V&A museum in central London. Local Gravesend children and Bhai Sewa Singh Lalie jee did Shabad Keertan. This was followed with talks by various speakers, including the local Lord Mayor, Gravesham MP Adam Holloway, Bhai Harjinder Singh (Man in Blue), Ravjeet Singh and others. Baba Fateh Singh Gatka Akhara also performed Gatka. Over 500 people attended the event.

The event was a celebration of Sikhs in Britain, in particular Gravesend area. It was a recognition and celebration of the Sikh community living in Britain. It was probably the first of the kind programme that I have attended. Sikhs and non-Sikhs both attended the event and it was good to see how we can celebrate our diversity and uniqueness in society whilst living and mixing peacefully with members of other communities.


Some photos from the event (taken from www.SolaRider.org and www.SikhRoots.com):


The main display in the exhibition area.


Photographs of the old and new Gurdwara building.


Photographs from the past and present of Sikhs in Gravesend.


Visitors viewing the exhibition.


The main organiser, Bhenji Gurneet Kaur, gave the opening talk.


Bhai Sewa Singh Lalie jee and Gravesend children doing Keertan.


Bhai Ravjeet Singh did a talk on Sikhs in Britain in the past.


Bhai Harjinder Singh (Man in Blue) talking about Sikhs in the present.


Gatka demonstration.


Group photo at the end.


Outside the council building they had two Nishan Sahibs flying in the air alongside the British flag.


Outside building.


I hope that Sikhs in other areas of UK also organise similar programmes with their local councils and Racial Equality Councils. This is a great way of doing Parchaar, getting exposure in the media and providing a greater understanding of the Sikh identity across the wider community. Sikhs in Britain have contributed to society economically, academically, and socially. This should be recognised and celebrated. This year is ideal for communities to organise such programmes as it is the 300 years Gurpurb of Guru Granth Sahib jee being given eternal Gurship in October 1708.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

WOW Sweet Sikhi Team Photo looks FANTASTIC! It will look better once you are married then the mix with a female in it will look even more Chardikala. WAHEGURU

Great work.

Gurjeet Kaur said...

That's awesome. Looks like it had a great turnout. Sikhs in UK seem to be making good efforts to educate others about Sikhi. I don't see much of that in BC, despite the fact that it's desperately needed here.

ss said...

More pictures (including some of those on display in the exhibition) can be seen at:

http://solarider.org/blog

(Nb: Not www.solarider.org as mentioned above - that will get you nowhere - you need to know where you are going to get there ;p)