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Bilga Village Celebrations!

By Balwant Sanghera

Bilga is a historic town in Punjab that had the honour of hosting the fifth guru. Guru Arjun Dev ji and his wedding party stopped here on his way to close by village of Mau Sahib for his wedding to Mata Ganga ji. It has been reported that this place had seven huts that had to be rebuilt almost every year as they became victims of fire. The residents welcomed Guru Ji with open arms and sought his blessings. Named after the head of the place at that time named Bago the place soon grew and was named Bilga. Later on it grew to be the biggest town in the province. Bilga also became a hub for the freedom fighters during the British rule. Freedom fighter late Comrade Bhagat Singh is one of Bilga’s better known citizens. Bilga has been the trading centre for the surrounding area for a long time. Often, it has to compete with Nurmahal, only a few kilometers away. Residents of this community were some of the first ones to try their lucks overseas. These days one will find citizens of Bilga in almost every developed country. Bilga is closely associated with Guru Arjun Dev ji. Every year, they arrange to have huge gatherings in their own communities. Here in Canada, in every major city they organize Akhand Paaths and other activities to meet each other, express thanks to God Almighty and pay homage to Guru Arjun Dev ji. Here in Metro Vancouver, they have been meeting for the past 24 years. The latest gathering was held at Gurdwara Brookside in Surrey with the commencement of Akhand Paath on Friday, June 28. Over the next three days, current and former residents of Bilga, their friends and relatives and well-wishers turned out large numbers at the Gurdwara. The Bhog of the Akhand Paath on Sunday, June 30 brought in large number. At each of these functions, the organizers go out of their way to make the attendees aware of the history of Bilga. This is very helpful especially for the younger generations to learn about their heritage and roots. Also, it gives the families-old and new -to touch base with each other and renew friendships. My place of birth , village Pharwala, is only couple of kilometers away. I have very pleasant memories of this historic town and have a very strong attachment to it. Every year my family and I get a special invitation to join with my brothers and sisters from Bilga in its celebration. It is indeed an honour. I would like to commend the organizers for this wonderful opportunity and wish them well.

Balwant Sanghera is a retired School Psychologist and Community Activist.

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