Vesakhi celebrations back in full swing with month-long events

SINGAPORE – The Sikh group in Singapore has lined up a month-long slate of initiatives to mark Vesakhi, together with a brand new push to get extra ladies to tackle group management roles.

On Thursday (April 14), which is Vesakhi, celebrations started with the fruits of a three-day-long congregational prayer on the Sri Guru Singh Sabha temple in Wilkie Road.

Vesakhi marks a key occasion in the institution of the Sikh faith and id – the delivery of the Khalsa or idea of a Sikh group instituted by Guru Gobind 
Singh in 1699.

An analogous prayer occasion will happen later in the day on the Sri Guru Nanak Satsang Sabha temple in Katong.

This 12 months’s Vesakhi festivities kicked off final Saturday (April 9) with the light-up of Geylang Lorong 29 – the house of one of many seven gurdwaras or Sikh temples in Singapore.

Vesakhi celebrations will come to a detailed with a cultural and sporting occasion on the Singapore Khalsa Association on April 30.

There are about 12,000 Sikhs in Singapore, and Vesakhi celebrations are back in excessive gear this 12 months after muted celebrations over the previous two years amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr Deep Singh, president of the Pardesi Khalsa Dharmak Diwan temple in Geylang, mentioned: “The congregation has sacrificed rather a lot in the previous two years… 

“Now that measures are almost back to before for religious places of worship, we wanted to celebrate the festival of Vesakhi in a big way that will be memorable for everyone, Sikhs and non-Sikhs alike.”

Also on Thursday, the Central Sikh Gurdwara Board signed a memorandum of understanding with the National University of Singapore to arrange a visiting professorship in Sikh research. 

The transfer is aimed toward selling tutorial scholarship in the sphere in Singapore and overseas.

It will probably be Asia’s first Sikh research professorship outdoors the Indian subcontinent, mentioned the board and NUS, and the board is aiming to boost $1.2 million for an endowment fund to assist the visiting professorship.

Donations will probably be matched dollar-for-dollar by the Government. The professorship will begin in 2023, with every time period lasting 5 months. 

The appointed visiting professor will educate elective modules open to college students in the NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences in addition to different schools. The particular person can even conduct public seminars for the Sikh group, in coordination with the Central Sikh Gurdwara Board.

Senior Minister of State for Defence Heng Chee How, who spoke on the MOU signing on the Central Sikh Temple, mentioned the visiting professorship is a serious milestone for the Sikh group in Singapore.

He added that it’s going to elevate insights gained from Sikh historical past, philosophy and tradition, and place Singapore as a serious contributor to the rising discourse in inter-faith research.

On Friday, the Gurdwara Sahib Yishun temple can even launch a espresso desk guide as a part of its Vesakhi day celebrations. The guide traces the temple’s historical past from its founding in 1925.

The Sikh group can even host Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong on Friday when he visits the Khalsa Dharmak Sabha gurdwara to partake in langar and observe Vesakhi celebrations.

Langar refers back to the group kitchen of a gurdwara. Free vegetarian meals ready by volunteers in Sikh temples are served to all, no matter faith.

For the final two years, the Sikh group has needed to cope with measured prayer classes throughout Vesakhi and be restricted in a number of the ordinary methods of congregational praying, famous Mr Harpal Singh Bajaj, president of the Sri Guru Nanak Satsang Sabha temple in Katong.

Also launched earlier this month was a brand new initiative referred to as EnKaur by the Sikh Advisory Board to check methods to extend feminine illustration in the Sikh group.

The EnKaur working committee, which is made up of 21 Sikh ladies from various backgrounds, will research the explanations behind low illustration of girls in Sikh group organisations and initiatives, together with on the management ranges, and create larger alternative for ladies to contribute.

Vesakhi marks the anniversary of the delivery of the Khalsa – or idea of a Sikh group – a key occasion in the institution of the Sikh faith and id.

Khalsa, which suggests pure, refers to all Sikhs who’ve acquired Amrit or ambrosial nectar via the Amrit Sanchar or initiation ceremony.

Former PAP MP Inderjit Singh, who chairs the Coordinating Council of Sikh Institutions, mentioned this 12 months’s celebration will probably be a giant morale booster for the group after the previous two years, the place key festivals needed to be sacrificed because of the pandemic.

He mentioned: “Vesakhi has always been a key event for the Sikh community here. We are fortunate to be able to come together this year to celebrate it in a big way again after the uncertainty the last two years.”

Correction observe: An earlier model of this text wrongly described Vesakhi because the Sikh New Year. This is inaccurate. We are sorry for the error.

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