Langar Week open house a success in New West

Theresa McManus

Theresa McManus
Hundreds of people attended local International Langar Week celebrations.Contributed

Hundreds of people learned about the Sikh communal kitchen practice of langar at a recent open house at the Sukh Sagar Gurdwara.
Guru Nanak’s Free Kitchen, a registered charity, held an open house at the Queensborough temple on Oct. 1, 2 and 3. It was all part of a celebration of International Langar Week, which ran from Oct. 4 to 10.

“We had several hundreds of people of all backgrounds attend the open house, learning how to cook and serve langar, which is a 500-year-old practice of the Sikh community,” said Holly Mitten, who coordinated the event. “The event was a resounding success and a nice gathering for New Westminster locals.”

At the open house, folks could chat about the Guru Nanak’s events, and enjoy some yummy food and chai. The Guru Nanak’s free kitchen has been serving locals for free – for decades.

According to the society, langar feeds thousands of people on Canadian streets every day of the week and can also be found in every single gurdwara (Sikh place of worship) on Earth. 

“The open house event during Langar Week was a great success,” said Ranjeet Singh, senior sevadaar (selfless servant), in a statement to the Record. “Volunteers of different Guru Nanak’s Free Kitchen teams finally met each other and learnt more about the organization.”

Guru Nanak’s Free Kitchen is in the midst of moving to a permanent facility in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.  The volunteer-led organization has raised more than $400,000 for its community projects, which largely focus on bringing langar to the streets to reach the hungry who may not visit gurdwaras.

“Not enough people know that all are welcome in gurdwaras for a meal. All required is to remove your shoes when inside, cover your head with one of the freshly washed coverings available and do not bring intoxicants or be intoxicated inside, including tobacco,” said the Sikh Press Association in a press release. “This is what the international campaign of Langar Week is all about. From Asia to Australia, Sikhs are letting the general public know the service is available to them. And great orgs like GNFK are ensuring langar reaches those on the streets too. The team are a credit to New Westminster.”

More information about langar and Langar Week can be found at www.LangarWeek.com.
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