Sunday, January 2, 2011

Celebrate 'Singh' Size: Procession in New Delhi

You witness colossal chaos, colossal traffic jams with colossal hysteria as Sikhs get together thrice each year for a cultural extravaganza and grand community celebrations on important dates in Sikh history. These pictures are from the 02 Jan 2011 procession to celebrate Prakash Utsav, (literal translation: day of illumination means birth anniversary here) of tenth Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh.

The parade marked with devotion, feeling of community, sharing and giving where tones of food is distributed by devotees who either set up stall on the roadside or move along the crowds in their cars carrying candies, biscuits, juices, tea, water, beans and rice, bread and lentils...almost anything! You cannot walk two steps without being offered something to eat. But it is just not food.

With people singing hymns from the Guru Granth Sahib as they move along in thousands, some telling stories about the glorious past and martyrdom of the Sikh heroes on the microphones, if you are a sikh, you can feel your chest swelling with pride and heart pounding with humility. To mark the spirit of military faith, young students of all ages and both gender display their martial skills in the art form of Gatka. It was a perfect culmination of the ‘Sant-Sipahi’ Saint & Warrior ideology of the Sikh religion. To be a part of the whole scheme all you need to do is cover you head, get a bag of candies to share with all and sing praises of the one God. Well, just the act of the being around will ensure you have food thrust into your hands with a smile or a polite sometimes aggressive and hurried “Waheguru ji”.

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