LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) -
Thousands crossed the border from India to Pakistan on Sunday to celebrate a momentous Sikh holiday. Here in Southwest Louisiana, a smaller celebration was held.
2019 marks the 550th birthday of the founder of the Sikh religion, Guru Nanak Dev Ji who was born in 1469.
Jasmeen Kaur, an attendee of the celebrations held at Gurudwara Sri Dashmesh Darbar Sahib, located on Merganser Street in Lake Charles, described the founder as a shining light amongst the darkness.
“I would say the main message was how everyone should be human first before any religion, any caste, like basically, any gender as well," Kaur explained.
The President of the Gurdwara Committee, Jaswinder Singh, has been planning this day for several years now.
“We wanted the kids to know who their pioneers are and what they have done for them and how good they were for the community and for the whole universe,” Singh said.
The Sikhs celebrated the day with the reading and singing of religious hymns written by Guru Nanak Dev Ji from the 11th Guru, the holy book, the Guru Granth Sahib Ji.
Gurmaan Singh Khela, an attendee of the celebrations, described it like Christmas but celebrated differently.
“In modern society, there are gifts given but we just respect the thought and the ideas passed on by him [Guru Nanak Dev Ji],” Khela said.
A number of local residents came to attend the celebrations.
“It’s just good to see that the future generations recognize this day and even the current generation recognizes this day," Khela said. "Even after 500 years or such a long time in such a small community.”
The local Sikh community invites anyone who wants to learn more to attend the weekly congregation on Sunday and come to the free community lunch that is also provided.
To learn more about Sikhs in general, click here.