Sikhs living in New Zealand can now put the used-Rumala Sahibs to better use instead of burning or throwing them away, thanks to New Zealand’s multicultural community.

Supreme Sikh Society of New Zealand has joined hands with the members of Cook Island and Samoan community who will re-use the used Rumala Sahibs to make art pieces. These art pieces will be donated to Marae, churches and other religious places where these will be used as curtains and other decorative purposes.

Rumala Sahib will be reused at the religious places of various communities in New Zealand (photo: supplied)

In Sikhism, Rumala (piece of cloth) refers to wrappings, draperies and coverlets used as altar cloths to protect prayer books and scriptures, or scarf worn in the gurudwara during worship service or in the presence of Guru Granth Sahib, the holy scripture of Sikhs.

Nearly 150 members from Samoan, Tongan, Maori, Cook Island communities hosted Sikh community members in an event in Mangere on Thursday, November 20. During the two-hour-long event, they presented a sample of how Rumala Sahib will be used at the religious places of these communities.

The project will be carried out with the support of Auckland Council, Healthy Families, WISE Auckland and Auckland Regional Migrant Services along with other community organisations.

Daljit Singh of Supreme Sikh Society explained the importance of Rumala Sahib and advised that for religious reasons, it should be used at holy places or activities.

The leader of Cook Island community said that this comes as a move to extend a friendly relationship between the two communities. He assured that their community respects and acknowledges the Sikhs’ sentiments and will equally respect the Rumala Sahib at their religious places.

Nearly 200 women (sewing volunteers) will stitch a patchwork on the holy cloth signifying the bond between Sikh and island communities. One such sample was presented to Mr Singh on this occasion.

“We all welcome this move where the communities from different faiths have come forward to devise this unique solution where a religious symbol of one faith is being reused at another religious place,” Mr Singh Said.

This issue of Rumala Sahib overload has been faced by the Sikh community around the world for a long time now where communities have been trying to work out a solution how the holy cloth can be reused without hurting the sentiments of Sikhs.

Recently, the Sikh temples in Takanini, Otahuhu, Avondale, Papatoetoe, Wellington and Christchurch received a large number of Rumala Sahib, out of which 5 boxes were sent to be reused at maraes. Some of the samples will be presented to the Supreme Sikh Society.