Approximately 4000 people from the Sikh community participated in the Nagar Kirtan event hosted by Supreme Sikh Society of New Zealand on Saturday, November 21.

Nagar Kirtan is a religious procession conducted by the Sikh community that involves community members of all ages, and each of them plays a distinctive role to spread the word about Sikhism, and its teachings.

The Supreme Sikh Society hosted the annual parade from Otahuhu Gurudwara on Princess Street and took a 6 km walk around the business and residential areas of South Auckland before returning at the Gurudwara premises.

Thousands of men, women and children dressed in ethnic clothing gathered at the Gurudwara for the kirtan from 10 a.m. to noon and started the parade along with four truck and trailer decorated in flowers and banners housing priests singing religious hymns throughout the journey.

Sikh youths presented Gatka the ‘Sikh Martial Art’ through the routes; women sang the hymns in chorus led by two trucks towards the front and two at the rear who cleaned the road while the procession was in place.

A total of 100 volunteers marshalled the road and paved the way for the procession in a way that does not create an obstruction for the passing traffic. The volunteers were joined by Auckland Traffic Management and several New Zealand Police personnel helping create a way for the vehicles and the procession.

Back in the Gurudwara, there were men and women both as volunteers and as business supporters who prepared food and snacks in different stalls for the visitors and procession members.

“We hosted the first Nagar Kirtan event in 1996 in New Zealand, have been doing it annually since then without missing a year and today, 25 years later, our children played a pivotal role in organising this massive event,” Daljit Singh from Supreme Sikh Society told The Indian Weekender.

Mr Singh added that Nagar Kirtan is practised by the Sikh community all over the globe and the purpose of this event is to spread the word and teachings of Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak Dev not just with Sikh people but also with the broader community.