Last Sunday we were invited to do Parchaar to celebrate the Gurpurb of Guru Nanak Dev jee in place just outside Norwich called Hevingham. There is a very small community there and so they get together to do Satsang only four times a year on certain Gurpurbs. There is about 100 Sangat members, which includes Hindus and Muslims, however on Sunday there was slightly less people because of the weather and snow.
After the keertan and veechaar, the local children came to the front and sang a Shabad without any saaj (instruments). It was very inspiring to see the local children had memorised the shabad:
ਏਕੋ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਇ ਮਨ ਮੇਰੇ ||
eiko naam dhiaae man mere ||
Meditate on the Name of the Lord alone, O my mind.
ਕਾਰਜੁ ਤੇਰਾ ਹੋਵੈ ਪੂਰਾ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਗੁਣ ਗਾਇ ਮਨ ਮੇਰੇ ||੧|| ਰਹਾਉ ||
kaaraj teraa hovai pooraa har har har gun gaae man mere ||1|| rahaao ||
Your affairs shall be perfectly resolved; sing the Glorious Praises of the Lord, O my mind. ||1||Pause||
It was so uplifting to see that in such an insolated community which has no large Sikh community nearby has educated their children to memorise and recite Gurbani. Afterwards the children sang a poem called the "Mighty Khalsa", which is originally written by the American Sikhs living in Espanola, New Mexico. About 10 or so children with confidence and spirit sang the song to the Sangat. Here is a clip of the song, sung in New Mexico to give you an idea of how the children performed:
The children were really impressive. I was later told that the relatives of a local family had come from America and they had learnt the song "We are the Khalsa" from a trip to Espanola in New Mexico. During the family's short stay with their relatives in England they had taught the local children the song and the actions to go along with it. It was heart moving to see the spirit of the children.
The pyaar that the local community had for one another for Gursikhs was inspiring and moving. The dedication of some of the parents I met and how they had taught their children Gurbani with little resources, no Panjabi teachers, no Gurmat classes, and little exposure to Parchaariks. Many of the parents said they encouraged their children with Sikhi through sitting with them and listening to Sikhi programmes on Panjab Radio and watching the Sikh Channel. One child learnt Gurbani through the opportunity of singing Gurbani on one of the Gurbani shows on Panjab Radio and getting encouragement from other radio listeners.
May Guru Sahib bless the Norwich area Sangat with more Chardi Kalaa and Guru Sahib's kushee'aa.
Dhan Hai Guru, Dhan Hai Teree Sikhee!