Sikhs ready to celebrate Guru Nanak’s birthday with Palmerston North community || Sikh Vogue
Nov 21, 2019
The centre of Palmerston North will come alive this weekend to celebrate an important occasion on the Sikh calendar.
The Palmy Punjabi Festival is on this Saturday from 1pm to 4pm in The Square. The festival celebrates the 550th birthday of the faith’s founder, Guru Nanak.
There will be games, entertainment and plenty to eat throughout the day. Members of the Sikh community will be performing music and there will be turban-tying demonstrations and giveaways.
New Zealand Sikh Society’s Palmerston North branch leader Karl Gill said celebrations of Guru Nanak’s birthday usually happened within Sikh communities, but Palmerston North Sikhs wanted to share the festivities.
Opening the festival to the public would help show the similarities between different religions and prevent misunderstandings.
“Our people know the significance, but most New Zealanders don’t know the significance. We want to meet with the Palmerston North community to show them who we are… to show that we are the same.”
All the food at the festival is free, in keeping with Guru Nanak’s teachings. Food preparations started on Thursday, as Gill was expecting more than 2000 people to come along.
“He believed no-one should go hungry, everyone has the right to food.”
One of the most exciting performances of the day will be from Vickram Singh, formerly known as Vic Briggs, who was the lead guitarist of British band The Animals. He converted to Sikhism in the early 1970s and is based in Auckland.
He will be playing Sikh songs modified into ballads.
Sikhs from around the North Island will be travelling to help and enjoy the festivities, Gill said. There are about 1000 Sikhs living in Palmerston North and those from around wider Manawatū come to the inner-city temple for prayer, Gill said.
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