The Indo-Canadian Sikh Association proudly raised a flag high above the rooftop of their temple on Fourth Ave. East.
The occasion was a celebration of the 550th anniversary of their first Sikh Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the founder of Sikhism.
“He travelled far and wide spreading the message of God. Like God is one, omni present, caring and immensely powerful,” explained Jaswinder Bains, member of the association. “He also spread the message of equality for women and to consider the whole human race as one.”
Their three main principals of life are to recite God’s name, earn a living by noble means and share your food with others, themes which were carried out in their three day celebration.
The women cooked traditional dishes each day from chapatis, lentils, mixed vegetables, chickpeas, and a dessert made from cream of wheat. During the day the temple was open with a service of prayers.
The yellow flag now flying high in the winds is known as the “Nishan Sahib,” explained Bains. Nishan means flag and Sahib is a term of respect. On the flag is the Sikh symbol of “Khanda,” a circle with a sword in the middle and two intersecting swords on the sides.
“This is a great day for the Sikh community in Prince Rupert. All over the world there are about 28 million followers of Sikhism and people celebrating. So it is great that we get to also celebrate this in Prince Rupert,” said city councillor Gurvinder Randhawa.
The association was also celebrating the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor in Pakistan, a now visa-free border crossing connecting the country to India, announced on Nov. 9 by Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan. The corridor leads to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur, a shrine to commemorate where Guru Nanak spent the last years of his life.
“The basic ideology of this landmark is that people can see this landmark from far away, and can come to temple for any kind of help. Because you should help anyone of any kind. The cooperation is good for the relations of both countries and people of all religion,” said Rupertite Ejaz Chaudhry, who lived in Pakistan for 18 years.
Jenna Cocullo | Journalist
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