Friday April 27, 2018

Rosario de la Frontera : Home to the only Sikh temple in South America

“We’ve had people visit here and they are amazed, happy. They know that what we’ve managed to do with this Gurudwara is very important, very good, for humanity- not only for the community but for humanity”

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Sikh temple-Gurudwara
Gurdwara Rosario de la Frontera Argentina, Wikimedia Commons
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By Akanksha Sharma

 

 

• Rosario de la Frontera, a city in the centre-south of the province of Salta, Argentina is home to the only Sikh temple (Gurudwara) in South America.

• Sikhs originally arrived in Argentina in the early 19th century to work on a British-built railroad.
• In the 1970s, others came along after prohibited entry to Canada and US, the preferred destination for emigrants.
• At that time, they stayed in Argentina as it seemed the most promising nation of South America and later got concentrated in the north, which reminded them of the plains of Punjab.
• Today they run a supermarket and other shops in town.
• The Gurudwara is clean, beautiful and inspires divine feelings. Rituals from the Sikh home of Punjab are observed in the Prayer-room. Traditional vegetarian meals are prepared in Gurudwara’s kitchen.

• Kanwall Jeet Singh, from Sikh community, said, “We’ve had people visit here and they are amazed, happy. They know that what we’ve managed to do with this Gurudwara is very important, very good, for humanity- not only for the community but for humanity.”

Related Article: Sikhism in Fiji Samabula Sikh Temple

• Mixed marriages with Argentinians are common and their children are already more Argentine than Indian.
• “It’s impossible to keep a distance, we eat beef. Not at home. But at birthdays, parties, there are only steaks, which are beef,” said Bibiana Jasbe Singh Kaur, an Argentine Sikh.
• The Sikh community in Argentina knows that their culture will disappear within 2 generations.
• Sikhs are accepted as the part of the society in Argentina. “We consider them to be people from here,” said Josefa Casasola, a local there.
• Sikhs believe that when their culture fades away, a part of their spiritual heritage will live on in this small part of South America.

Akanksha Sharma is a student of Journalism in New Delhi. She currently works as an intern in Newsgram. Twitter@Akanksha.4117

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‘Concept of equality’ pervades world’s biggest community kitchen

The Golden Temple complex itself gets millions of visitors from across the country and other parts of the world annually

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Bangla Sahib is one of the most famous place of worship of Sikhs in Delhi. Wikimedia Commons
Equality is important for the biggest community. Wikimedia Commons

If there is one big leveller for people, irrespective of their religion, caste, gender, social status or riches, it is the “langar”, or community kitchen, at the Golden Temple complex, where the holiest of Sikh shrines, the Harmandir Sahib, is located, in this city considered holy by Sikhs.

Referred to as the world’s largest community kitchen, the Sri Guru Ram Das Jee Langar Hall of the Golden Temple complex is unique in several aspects. On an average, it feeds over 100,000 people daily — from children to old people — from all religions, castes, regions, countries; and people from varied social, economic and political backgrounds.

“It is a 24×7 operation that carries on day and night all 365 days of the year. This has been going on for centuries, since the concept of langar was introduced by Guru Nanak Dev (the first Guru of the Sikh religion and its founder; born 1469) and propagated by other Gurus,” Wazir Singh, senior in-charge of the langar preparation, told IANS here.