Monday December 16, 2019

Sikhism in Fiji: Samabula Sikh Temple

Soul is on loan from God, who is ever merciful, and the follower must dedicate their life to all good causes - to help make this life more worthwhile

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Inside view of a Sikh temple, Wikimedia commons

Sikhs (belonging to Sikhism community) came to Fiji between 1879 and 1916. Unlike Fiji’s Indian population (most of which are descendants of Indian indentured labourers), Sikhs in Fiji comprised mostly of free immigrants (such as teachers, policemen etc). Sikhs in Fiji are commonly referred as Punjabis.

  • Sikhism is a religion which worships only one god. Originating in Punjab region (sub-continental India), it was formed during 15th The term Sikhism originated from Sikh which was taken from a Sanskrit word Shisya (meaning a disciple) or shiska (meaning instruction). Sikhism is the 5th largest religion in the world.
  • One of the philosophies of this religion (as mentioned in the holy text of Guru Granth Sahib) is that “soul is on loan from God, who is ever merciful, and the follower must dedicate their life to all good causes – to help make this life more worthwhile.”
Sikhism in India, Wikimedia commons
Sikhism in India, Wikimedia commons
  • There are several Gurdwaras established in Fiji in mainly Sikh concentrated regions. Along with worship, these Gurdwaras also provide food and shelter to the poor and needy.
  • The first Sikh temple was built in Samabula (near Suva), Fiji in 1922. Commonly known as Samabula Sikh Temple, it fulfilled the needs of poor Sikh migrants.
  • This spiritual heritage site which comes under the National Trust of Fiji is now expected to undergo a major restoration. Though there were several extension works done earlier but this will be the first major renovation work which will be carried out.

Related article : Britain Sikh community to celebrate Baisakhi with most enthusiasm and hospitality

  • More than Half a million dollars is the projected cost as estimated by one of the secretaries Haridayal Singh Rana. Members of the temple (both from Fiji and abroad) will provide assistance in this major refurbishment.
  • Presently many Sikhs have migrated from Fiji to western regions especially to the United States.

Prepared by Pritam

Pritam is  a 3rd year engineering student in B.P. Poddar institute of management and technology, Kolkata.Twitter @pritam_gogreen

 

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Hotel Chains in Rajasthan Contribute in Growing Local Economy

Big hotel chains help boost local economy in Rajasthan

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Hotels Rajasthan
Hotel chains in Rajasthan play a major role in boosting the local economy. Pixabay

BY ARCHANA SHARMA

Big hotel chains in Rajasthan are helping the local economy grow by providing newer employment avenues to the natives.

These hotels are hiring local people to showcase the colourful heritage of Rajasthan to guests coming from different parts of the world.

Ibis, an Accor brand, recently re-launched its property in Civil Lines, Jaipur, in which locals were engaged in the task to design a vibrant and colourful lobby with traditional Pichwai artwork connecting to the ethic charm of the Pink city.

The property also showcases a quirky auto and bike parked outside the lobby which comes in different shades of pink connecting with the theme of the pink City. Again, in this perspective, the local students’ views were taken into account to make the pretty decor of the auto and bike, said Saumitra Chaturvedi, General Manager, Ibis Jaipur Civil Lines.

Further, the hotel had hired a local band, Marudhar, during the relaunch of the property, which has got six local members who shot to fame after displaying their talent in ‘India’s Got Talent’.

Chaturvedi said, “It gives me immense pleasure to showcase the revamped Ibis property in Jaipur which has been designed after seeking services of local artists. We look forward to serving the best blend of local and global in terms of food, delicacies and experiences, he added.

Rajasthan locals
Big hotel chains in Rajasthan hire the local people to showcase the rich culture of that region. Pixabay

The other property pushing local economy to new heights is Alila Fort Bishangarh where locals are engaged in diverse tasks including garden landscaping, housekeeping, driving and even the kitchen for dishes, said Binny Sebastian, General Manager, Alila Fort Bishangarh’s heritage hotel, some 50 km from Jaipur.

As our property is situated on the outskirts, the surrounding villages had people engaged in farming and hence we are training them in diverse tasks to ensure they have a decent source of earning. Now, the villages look changed as there are many shops and businesses coming around, he adds.

These guests are also taken around for a barber shop where they love to get a hair massage done which is called as Champi in local language. Villagers are getting a decent price for it. We have a chai shop where guests are taken and they pay villagers a decent sum for a tea.

Then comes as zero mile cuisine system we have introduced recently where food produced within the vicinity of one mile is being served to guests. This again boosts local economy, Sebastian says.

This Diwali, we gifted paper bag made from newspapers with an earthen pot having tulsi plant grown in our garden. Again local services were taken to make bags and pots, he adds.

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“Our association with locals is quite strong. Our guests also visit the artisans’ houses and sip tea there while watching them make pottery and weave carpet. In this way, we ensure that locals get a decent livelihood,” Sebastian added.

“We have started getting regular income since this property came up a year back. We have been showing our art to the guests here which gives us satisfaction as well as an income,” said Nizamuddin, a bangle maker engaged in Alila Fort, Bishangarh. (IANS)