Posted on: November 27, 2017
Earlier in the year, students from Year’s 7, 8 and 9 visited Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Smethwick, to develop their understanding of the Sikh religion and key Sikh practices.
Guru Nanak Gurdwara, Smethwick, is one of the largest Gurdwaras in Europe. Spanning a total area of about 70,000 square metres, the building is three storeys high. The Gurdwara Sahib has one of the largest congregations in the UK. Building work commenced in the late 1990s and ever since the Gurdwara has been expanding in order to accommodate for Smethwick’s growing Sikh community.
Students were taken on a guided tour of the building through worship rooms used for weddings, worship and other key celebrations. They also explored a gallery looking at Sikh history and the work of the Gurus to protect and stand up for the faith. The students were enthralled listening to the stories of the sacrifices the Gurus had made.
We were also invited to take langar, a free meal provided by volunteers within the Gurdwara. Every Gurdwara has a free community kitchen (langar) which is open to anyone regardless of race, religion or gender. The volunteers had made chips and beans especially for our students; some even sampled the traditional langar food which included a vegetable curry and lentil dhal. The food was amazing; Mr. McLaughlin was definitely a fan!
Not only did the students learn more about the religion, through seeing the faith in action, they gained a real understanding of the sense of community that runs through Sikhism. They were welcomed with open arms by the community and OSSMA will definitely be visiting again.