A Kirtan, followed by a langar has been organised at the Parliament Lawns in Wellington to mark the occasion of Guru Nanak Jayanti on Friday, November 30.

This year Sikh community is celebrating 549th birth anniversary of their first Guru and the founder of the Sikh faith – Guru Nanak Dev – on November 23, and in this regard, several events are planned at different gurudwaras all around the country.

The Wellington Sikh Community is coming together to host one such event in Parliament Lawns on Friday, November 30 on the occasion of Guru Nanak Jayanti.

Minister for Ethnic Communities, Jenny Salesa, is joining the Sikh community and the organisers in welcoming everyone at the parliament event next week.

“I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the significant contributions made by New Zealand’s small, but deeply committed Sikh community. These contributions, on both cultural and social levels, are recognised by the Government,” Ms Salesa said in a media release.

“I invite all New Zealanders to join our Sikh brothers and sisters in celebration of this special day, Guru Nanak Jayanti,” she added.

Organisers of the kirtan event at the parliament have invited everyone to be a part of the celebrations that will start at 10:30 a.m. followed by the langar at noon.

Celebrations across the globe include langar, or free kitchen, a concept introduced by Guru Nanak where food is prepared, served and shared by volunteers.  The practice has remained an important tradition at all Gurudwara (Sikh Temples) throughout the world.

A 48-hour recital of writings from Shri Granth Sahib, the Sikh holy book, is another popular form of celebration. The Sikh population in New Zealand is estimated to be 19,000, with nearly 600 living in the Greater Wellington region.

Manjit Grewal, a member of the Wellington Sikh Society, is encouraging all who are interested to attend and participate in langars across New Zealand.

Naenae Gurudwara in Wellington too will have non-stop prayers (Akhand paath) from 23-25 November.