Sikhism or ‘Sikhi’ (literally translating to the ‘seeker’ or ‘learner’) is a religion that was established by Guru Nanak towards the end of the 15th century in the Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent. Around 30 million Sikhs follow the religion, making it the world’s sixth largest organised religion.(This excludes around 150 million non-Khalsa Sikhs around the world).
Sikhs consider their faith a way of life advocated by their spiritual leader or ‘Guru’. Khalsa Sikhs wear five symbols – called the five Ks, to show their devotion to Sikhism. Kesh (uncut hair), Kara (a steel bracelet), Kanga (a wooden comb), Kaccha - also spelt, Kachh, Kachera (cotton underwear), Kirpan (steel sword).
After Guru Nanak, the community was led by a succession of nine other gurus. The tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, declared that after his time there would no living gurus and the community should look to the holy book for guidance. Today Sikhs around the world follow the holy text called the Guru Granth Sahib.
The Sikh place of worship is called a Gurdwara which means 'Gateway to the Guru'. A Gurdwara is any building where the Guru Granth Sahib is kept. During the service followers listen to the teachings of the Guru and chant prayers. The service ends in a langar (or a shared meal) where everyone is welcome.
In this session, students will visit a Gurdwara in Punjab in India with a presenter who belongs to the Sikh community. The presenter will explain the many traditions in Sikhsim and show students around the Gurdwara. Students will get the unique opportunity to see the rituals and visit the langar that feeds hundreds in a day. This is a highly interactive session where students can ask questions and understand about Sikhsim in an immersive manner.
Note: Our sessions are designed to give learners an insight into different traditional and cultural practices and do not promote any religious beliefs.