Sikh community in Penang celebrate Vaisakhi through selfless service

GEORGE TOWN: Bringing the community together in the name of "seva" (selfless service), the Sikh community were seen cooking up a storm as they celebrate Vaisakhi.

Serving three meals a day and tea to boot, the community believes feeding one another is the highest form of service.

Housewife Pritam Kaur, 67, was seen chopping fruits and vegetables with her friends to prepare lunch and tea for visitors.

"There will be many coming today and tomorrow as we celebrate Vaisakhi.

"When we have prayers we serve breakfast, lunch and dinner.

"The prayers started on Friday (April 12) evening so we prepared and served dinner.

"This is special for us as it is a special prayer we have every year for the establishment of the Khalsa," she said when met at the Gurdwara Sahib Bayan Baru, here.

Pritam Kaur said they make special dishes like dhal and sabzi (vegetables).

"We are vegetarian so everyone can have the food.

"We have an array of sweets including burfi (made from condensed milk solids) and jalebi (a sweet treat made from wheat flour and yoghurt).

"We come over and help prepare the food together.

"It is our way of giving back as we believe in seva.

"It is a way for us to get together as well.

"We start chatting and catching up as we dice the vegetables, before we know it, we are done," she said.

The gurdwara Deputy President Manjeet Singh who was seen cooking the dishes said they started the prayers on Friday (April 12) evening and it will last till Sunday (April 14) evening at 4pm.

"The prayers will go on for 48 hours as they recite the 1,430-page Sikh holy scriptures.

"It is a continuous process of people taking turns to read it.

"While that is going on we are preparing to serve the meals.

"We do our community service, some will cook and others will clean.

"Everything is donated by the devotees," he said.

Manjit Singh said in the evening on Saturday (April 13), they will raise their "Nishan Sahib Selami" flag to indicate that there is a gurdwara here.

"In Punjab, the flagpost would be the tallest thing there which would make it easier for people to spot in case they needed a place to stay or a meal.

"Even here it is the same, people know they can come here anytime for a warm meal or even a place to stay, free of charge," he said.

He said the celebration will conclude at 4pm on Sunday (April 14).

This year, Sikhs worldwide will celebrate the festival of Vaisakhi on Sunday (April 14).

Vaisakhi marks the establishment of the Khalsa order by Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the 10th Sikh Guru in 1699 and corresponds with the harvest festival in India.

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Vaisakhi , Seva , Sikh , Meals , Charity , Service , Gurdwara


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