My Trip to a Sikh Temple

IMG-1987During my Consuming Culture: Food and Identity course, we visited a Sikh temple called the Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha. This specific Sikh temple is located in Southall, London and is the largest Gurdwara organization outside of India. The name of the temple, Gurdwara, means the ‘Guru’s door’ and is a home for Sikhs to learn how to live a spiritual and honest life.

During our time at the Gurdwara, we spoke to a Sikh who taught us some of the main values and beliefs of the religion. For example, you must keep God in your heart, and He is represented in every person in your life, especially your mother and father. God believes it is important for you to have a job to earn money, and you must help and take care of those around you.

gurwaraThe Sikh also mentioned the five Ks, which are physical representations that one has devoted his or her life to God. The five Ks are kesh (uncut hair), kara (a steel bracelet), kanga (a wooden comb), kaccha (cotton underwear), and kirpan (a steel sword).

Learning about a religion that originated in the Punjab region of India was extremely fascinating because of how similar it is to other religions, like Christianity. Some of their main beliefs are similar to some of the Ten Commandments, like “honour thy father and thy mother.” Therefore, I found it interesting that these religions originated in two different areas during two different time periods but still have very similar values.

IMG-1986One of the last things that I enjoyed from this trip was the shpping area of Southall. Throughout this district, there were various Indian influences in the streets. For example, there would be buildings and signs written in Punjabi and several clothing stores dedicated to traditional Indian clothes. It was interesting to see how immigrants from South Asia had influenced the area of Southall in such a way that I forgot that I was in London at all. The trip was an amazing cultural experience and anyone who is interested in South Asian culture should visit the Gurdwara. The temple is open to anyone who would like to visit and offers different free meals every day.

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