Four-day Sikh festival opens in Singapore

Singapore, Dec 23 (IANS) A four-day festival to mark the 350th birthday of Guru Gobind Singh opened here on Friday.

Thousands of Sikhs from around the region were expected to attend the “Naam Ras Kirtan Darbar”, a biennial event which started in 2002, said a report in the Strait Times on Friday.

Guru Gobind Singh was the 10th Sikh guru and was known as a literary genius.

The free event will feature music performances and an exhibition on the history of Sikhism. It will also offer free vegetarian food made by volunteers at gurdwaras in Singapore.

The festival will also have on display a sacred relic – a 300-years-old pitcher used by Guru Gobind Singh. Another highlight is a miniature paper replica of the Golden Temple of Amritsar.

More than 20,000 people are expected to attend the festival, which is one of largest Sikh gatherings outside South Asia. A live feed of the event will be streamed on Facebook.

For many Sikhs the event will be an opportunity to meet members of their community living in different countries.

“Singapore has always been our home base. It is a good chance to come back home, see each other and be part of the community again,” said Shanghai-based Ashmit Singh who has come to attend the event.

Guramrit Singh, an IT designer, said that apart from learning more about the religion, he enjoys the sense of community that the festival provides.

–IANS

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