Sikhs celebrate Gurupurab

Thursday 14th November 2019 05:51 EST

On Friday, 8th November to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, London mayor Sadiq Khan praised the contribution of Sikhs to the UK’ social and economic fabric.

Celebrating their entrepreneurial spirit and contribution, Khan said, “All across the UK and the world there are gurdwaras which open their doors to people who want to be fed irrespective of their background. No one asks your religion or how rich or poor you are. Thank you for the seva you do. You live Guru Nanak's teachings, which are as relevant now 550 years later as they were when first given. They are as relevant to non-Sikhs and people in London as they are to Sikhs and those 5,000 miles away. When we have people trying to divide communities, you have demonstrated we have far more that unites us than divides us."

As part of a series of commemorative events to celebrate the 550th Birth Anniversary of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, Gurupurab was also celebrated at the Embassy of India, Berlin in collaboration with Gurudwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Berlin. The event also included the screening of “Sarbat Da Bhala (Good of Humanity)”, a short digital video on the life of Guru Nanak Dev Ji who travelled far and wide and founded an egalitarian faith based on brotherhood and service of humanity. Berliners got a glimpse of the teachings and ideals of Guru Nanak Dev Ji through the video.

Prince Charles hails the 'inspiring principles' of Sikhism

The Prince visits a Sikh temple in New Delhi to mark the 550th anniversary of the birth of Guru Nanak and said,

“The principles on which Guru Nanak founded the Sikh religion, and which guide your lives to this day, are ones which can inspire us all – hard work, fairness, respect, and selfless service to others."

UK Sikhs visit Kartarpur Corridor

The annual celebration has been given extra significance this year with the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor, a secure, visa-free passage between arch-rivals India and Pakistan that gives Indian Sikhs access to the place where the guru died in 1539, now one of the religion's holiest sites. Devotees from all over the world, including the UK and Canada, are also visiting for the celebrations.

In the meantime, some British Sikhs spent Gurpurab in front of the Royal Courts of Justice with banners demonstrating “Stop discrimination of Sikhs”, “Sikhs are invisible to 40k public bodies” and “Census matters for Sikhs”. Inside the building, Mrs Justice Lang was hearing a judicial review brought by Bhai Amrik Singh, the chair of the Sikh Federation (UK) (SFUK), against the Cabinet Office and the UK Statistics Authority,over their failure to recommend a tick box for Sikhs in the ethnicity section of the 2021 UK census, a decision the claimants say is unlawful and leading to discrimination. “Sikh” is currently an optional answer to the religion question— which is voluntary. The options to the compulsory ethnicity question include “Indian”, “Pakistani” and "other Asian”, but there is no tick box stating “Sikh”.

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