Rachna Singh, Parliamentary Secretary for Anti-Racism Initiatives, has released the following statement in honour of Guru Nanak Gurpurab:
“Today marks the 553rd anniversary of the birth of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the founder of the Sikh religion and the first of the 10 Sikh gurus. This special day is known as Gurpurab, which refers to an anniversary of a guru’s birth that is celebrated by holding a festival. Today, Guru Nanak Gurpurab is one of the most sacred festivals for the Sikh community in British Columbia and around the world.
“In Gurudwaras, places of assembly and worship for Sikhs, the celebrations have been ongoing for two days. On the first day, Sikhs begin to read the Guru Granth Sahib, the religious scripture of Sikhism, from beginning to end. This continuous reading is called an Akhand Path, which is an extremely meaningful meditative practice for Sikhs that is done in shifts until the morning of Gurpurab.
“Guru Nanak Dev Ji shared a central message of equality for all, regardless of gender, religion or background. To honour Gurpurab, many Sikhs participate in sevā, selfless service that is performed without any expectations of reward for doing it. Whether taking the form of cooking food for others, volunteering in the community or helping a neighbour with gardening, participating Sikhs embody Guru Nanak’s lessons of unity, selflessness and service by helping others, regardless of faith, ethnicity or background.
“British Columbia is home to one of the largest Sikh populations in Canada. As we mark Gurpurab, I encourage all British Columbians to reflect on the important contributions Sikh Canadians make to our province as we work to create a better future for everyone.
“I extend my warmest wishes for a happy Guru Nanak Gurpurab!”