By Balwant Saghera
India Cultural Centre of Canada Gurdwara Nanak Niwas,8600 #5 Road Richmond celebrated Diwali and Bandi Chhor Divas with a great enthusiasm. Starting in the early morning of Sunday, November 12, devotees began pouring into the Gurdwara to pay their respects on this very special day.
Throngs of men, women and children kept pace during the day to pay their respects to Shri Guru Granth Sahib ji. After paying their respects to Shri Guru Granth Sahib ji in the Darbar Hall they would come downstairs to enjoy the Langar and other delicacies prepared by the volunteers and devotees .
Early in the afternoon, the Jatha of the Gurdwara’s Gianis commenced very melodious kirtan for the congregation. By the evening both the Darbar (prayer) Hall and the Langar (community kitchen) Hall were overflowing with devotees. It was a very joyous environment all around. The attendees were welcomed and briefed on the historical significance of Diwali and Bandi Chhor Divas. Gurdwara’s Punjabi School Students sang shabads after that.
For the past few years, Gurdwara Nanak Niwas has been hosting Punjabi classes for our children and youth. The main focus of the Punjabi School has been to familiarize our children and youth with Punjabi language, Sikhism and their heritage.
The Gurdwara management is very thankful to these children , their parents and grandparents for making the school a success. Under the guidance of their teacher these students sing shabads at the Gurdwara’s major functions. Thus, it was a great pleasure for the attendees at the Gurdwara for this special occasion to enjoy the students’ presentation of two shabads from Shri Guru Granth Sahib ji.
The volunteers did an amazing job in preparing delicious vegetarian langar and other delicacies like pakoras etc. It was a great challenge for the ladies in the kitchen to keep up with the on-going large numbers of devotees who had come to the Gurdwara to pay their respects.
Members of the Gurdwara management committee and other volunteers made every effort in making Diwali and Bandi Chhor Divas a memorable occasion for everyone. On behalf of India Cultural Centre of Canada Gurdwara Nanak Niwas management committee, I would like to thank our Gianis, ladies for working hard all day in making delicious langar for the congregation, Punjabi School students, teachers, their parents and grandparents, volunteers and the congregation for a very successful celebration of Diwali and Bandi Chhor Divas.
Balwant Singh Sanghera is the General Secretary, India Cultural Centre of Canada Gurdwara Nanak Niwas