Children, volunteers and community members came in thousands to observe the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak at the Takanini Gurudwara on Tuesday, November 12.

The prayer session on this occasion of Guru Purab started at five in the morning till 10:30 p.m. which included a Sikh Parade within the Gurudwara complex that was attended by 400 people in the morning.

“At 5 a.m., we started the prayer with the installation of the Shri Guru Granth Sahib in the prayer hall.

“We had invited people from different gurudwaras, and community members joined us in the early morning prayers and parade, Daljit Singh from Supreme Sikh Society told The Indian Weekender.

During the parade, the devotees sang hymns from the holy book and walked all around the temple, chanting the message of Guru Nanak.

During the day, the hosts estimated eight to ten thousand people visited the Gurudwara for prayers and participated in langar with family and friends.

“On the occasion of this special event, most of the prayer session was led by a famous preacher from Punjab, India, Kathakar Bhai Sukhbir Singh Kallah who travelled to Auckland to conduct the prayer sessions,” Mr Singh said.

The children of the community actively participated in the kitchen and langar hall preparing and serving food to the visitors at the Gurudwara.

“It was amazing to see such an actively participation from the children of our community who came forward voluntarily help in running the activities inside and outside the gurudwara- preparing, serving langar to the people and cleaning and maintaining the space for the other guests and devotees who were scheduled to come,” Mr Singh added.

Two Sikh recruits of New Zealand Defence Force also came to the event talking to the public about NZDF and its career opportunities.

“Our community members, especially youth and children, were quite drawn by seeing these two proud men in uniform and enquired about NZDF and the opportunities there,” Mr Singh added.

The celebrations ended around 10:30 in the evening, almost 17 hours it started with several prayers session, kirtan, singing of hymns, reading the Guru Granth Sahib and the parade around the complex.

“We had Minister of Ethnic Communities Jenny Salesa who came to the event as a guest and rendered a beautiful speech on multiculturalism and the contribution of the Sikh community in New Zealand,” Mr Singh added.

Sikh delegates from NZ at Kartarpur Corridor hail the hospitality

The official delegates from New Zealand who travelled to Kartarpur Corridor last week for its historic opening ceremony have hailed the hospitality received from the Pakistan government there.

Five official delegates and a total of 42 Sikh members from the New Zealand Sikh community travelled to the Kartarpur Corridor in Pakistan on the occasion of Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary.

“The delegates told us that the arrangement made for them was exemplary and people there are very generous, respectful and helpful towards the guests/delegates,” Daljit Singh, from Supreme Sikh Society said.

The delegates at Kartarpur Corridor in Pakistan

“The message the holy shrine in Kartarpur has been resounding of unity, peace and brotherhood.

“The message conveyed through the event is ‘we all are same, and there is just one supreme power, one god, and we should so stay united’,” Mr Singh said.

The delegates are scheduled to return on Saturday, November 16 and have praised about the rich experience being there on this holy occasion.