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Thousands to flock to Seven Kings gurdwara for Guru Nanak’s birthday

08:00 15 November 2013

Mankamal Singh of the gurdwara with Newbury Park Primary School pupils Robert Ernestas, 11, and Hemmy Ranjith, 10

Mankamal Singh of the gurdwara with Newbury Park Primary School pupils Robert Ernestas, 11, and Hemmy Ranjith, 10

Archant

School children got to learn about one of the most important gurus in Sikhism as part of a gurdwara’s celebrations for his birthday.

Singh Sabah Gurdwara in High Road, Seven Kings, is holding a week of activities to mark the birth of Guru Nanak, who founded the Sikh religion.

Six classes of Year 6 pupils from Newbury Park Primary School, Perrymans Farm Road, Newbury Park, visited the gurdwara on Wednesday to learn about the Sikh faith and were treated to a tasty lunch.

Mankamal Singh, spokesman for the gurdwara, said: “We taught the children about Sikhism and explained what it’s all about and showed them some Sikh artefacts.”

Over the weekend the gurdwara will be visited by thousands of people, including many Hindus, who will pay their respects to Guru Nanak whose birthday falls on Sunday.

Mr Singh said: “He is also the patron saint of the Punjab, so we get people from that region visiting as they have a lot of respect for Guru Nanak. It’s a very joyful occasion. It’s one of the most important dates in the Sikh calendar – it’s massive.”

On Saturday night, a 24-hour reading of the Sikh holy book, the Guru Granth Sahib, will begin and hundreds of worshipers will stay in the temple overnight.

This will be followed on Sunday by the changing of the large flag outside the gurdwara, called the Nishan Sahib, and the cleansing of the flagpole with yoghurt.

Volunteers will also be working hard in the gurdwara’s kitchen to ensure there is enough food, known as langar, for the visitors.

“The volunteers come forward anyway so we don’t really have to even ask,” said Mr Singh. “There are hundreds and thousands of people there which is exciting and very uplifting.”

Guru Nanak was the first of the 10 Sikh gurus.

In previous years the gurdwara has staged huge firework displays, but there will not be one this year. The money saved will be given to charity.

Mr Singh said: “We should be working towards the right type of things like supporting the community and working on projects – there’s lots to do.”

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