Monday, January 27, 2014

Australia Trip (Part 1)...

This month I was blessed with the opportunity of traveling to Australia for doing seva at Khalsa Camp Australia and doing keertan and vichaar at some Gurdware in Sydney and Melbourne. It was great to have darshan of such great Sangat there.

The trip to Australia is very long! I usually do not eat or drink anything on the flight because when I took Amrit the Panj Piaare said that when we are forced to separate from our Kakkaars then we should do an Ardaas and then not eat or drink anything (as a form of protest and love for our Kakkars) until arriving at the destination and being united with our Kakkaars. Although there is no official ruling on what to do about flying, most Panj Piaare give this practical Hukam. Having such a long flight (2 days of traveling) I was thinking it will be a challenge to not drink any water for two days. However, with Guru Sahib's kirpaa I found out that at London Heathrow Airport you can wear a Kirpaan!

Most Sangat do not realise that at Heathrow Airport you can wear a Kirpaan in a Gatra and go on a flight. Sharp items up to 6cm are allowed. The blade of the Kirpan has to be 6cm. There is no restriction on the handle and cover size. I showed the security staff my Kirpaan and said "I am wearing a small Kirpaan". The security staff checking me said, "Yes. That is fine. Thank you." This is particularly useful for long flights. It should be noted that this rule only applies at London Heathrow airport. Other UK airports to my knowledge do not allow any sharp objects to be on you or in hand luggage, irrespective of size.  I bought my 6cm blade Sarbloh Kirpaan from Sikh Missionary Society Shop in Southall.

Arriving at Sydney, Bhaji Govind Singh jee picked me up. Bhai Sahib lives near Bondi Beach. In the afternoon I had an opportunity to go for a walk by myself on the beach. It was extremely hot! Arriving at the beach I was shocked at the amount of people at the beach - young and old. I think on the whole beach I was the most overly dressed person there!

 Not being much of a sunbather I relaxed underneath a tree and breathed in the ocean air (which is apparently good for the health). Although I was dressed in Bana and had a Khanda on my dastaar and wearing a Hazooria (and standing out from everyone there), no one seemed to be bothered or looked at me at a strange way. Everyone looked very relaxed. This very good to see and gave me a good impression of Australians.

In the evening there was a divaan for keertan and vichaar at Glenwood Gurdwara in Sydney. The Gurdwara looks beautiful from outside. With Guru jee's kirpaa there is a good amount of Sangat throughout the week and the Sangat has a lot of concentration, attention and interest during the divaan. There were divaans all week at this Gurdwara and another Gurdwara in a nearby area called Revesby. The Sangat had a lot of pyaar and shardhaa which was very inspiring and motivating.

On Tuesday the local young Sangat arranged a trip to the city area of Sydney and had a day out. It was quite interesting that some Japanese tourists asked us to stop and write congratulations in our language as part of a video they are making for their friend's wedding. They were trying to get as many people from different countries to display congratulations in their country's language.

On the way to Manly Beach, Veer Harman Singh decided to buy burger and fries from a place called Hungry Jacks. The poor Kismat of Veer jee that on arriving at the beach he dropped some fries and invited a whole flock of seagulls to congregate around us (the seagulls looked pretty lethal and not scared of humans!). 

Then he had put his coke on the floor, which some how fell over and the drink went all over the floor (inviting more seagulls!). Then whilst eating his burger a seagull (allegedly) sat on top or touched the burger (as the seagulls became over friendly). So bechaaraa had to put most of his uneaten burger in the bin.  Veer jee reflected that perhaps Guru jee is trying to tell him that he should keep some level of Bibek and not eat from outside restaurants. 

To be continued...


Gupt Kookar said...
US has the same laws followed at Heathrow

ham baarik mugadh said...

@Gupt Kookar. Thanks for the link, I hadn't heard about the changes before. It says "as long as the blade is not fixed or does not lock into place" so I don't think this includes a kirpan