Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Sikh Student Association Presents: Langar On Campus

HELLOO!!! I'm sad to say this will be my last event I'm attending. I went to one of the earliest events I could on Wednesday so I can spend the rest of my week/weekend preparing for our BFA Photo Show. I better see you all there! 

Anyway, this week, I went to an event hosted by the Sikh Student Association. I was so excited once I saw all the people there and the huge white tent that said "Free Food".

I learned that about 25 million people around the world practice Sikhism, which is the fifth largest religion in the world. The religion originated in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent. Sikhs believe that all humans have the opportunity to find God through truth, service, and loving devotion. Sikh gurus preach to improve life on earth and enable a closer relationship to God. It all started with ten gurus, then the religion expanded. Much like the bible, the Sikhs follow The Guru Granth Sahib which is a collection of stories offering direction on living life in a way that is closest to God. 
The Sikhs display commitment to their religion by wearing five articles of clothing that signify their faith and love for humanity. 
1: Kes-Uncut hair covered by men with a turban. Women usually wear a scarf.
2: Kanga-A small comb often hidden in your hair.
3: Kachera-Soldier shorts worn as undergarments.
4: Kirpan-A sword fastened to your body by a soldier strap.
5: Kara-A bracelet on the hand.

You can see some of these garments in the group shot I posted earlier, like the turban. 

So today, the Sikhs are celebrating Vaisakhi, which is a festival that pays respect to the origins of the Sikh faith. They celebrate this with a Lengar which means "Free Kitchen". When arriving, people cover their heads with scarves and turbans, take off their shoes, and enjoy their meal on the floor. 

Here on campus there were not as many turbans, obviously, because the tent was filled mostly with American students learning about their culture. 
The food was really good, and free! Oh, and look who I ran into!!!
Puja 4L

She's such a cute little miner isn't she?!

Anyway, the whole point of celebrating this festival on campus is to represent equality of gender, social class, ethnicity, etc through religion. God loves us all. Since 9-11 occurred, people stereotype all middle eastern people as "terrorists". As I was talking to one of the people running the festival, she informed me that there are still many hate crimes against her religion and ethnicity. A week ago, 5 men in Chicago were shot up and killed for wearing turbans. These things happen all the time, and this festival is a response to the stereotypes and hate crimes. The Sikhs want to spread awareness of God, Love, and equality and show interfaith acceptance. 

This was like the goodbye pizza parties we used to have in grade school on the last day of classes! So sad this class is over. It was a fucking fabulous semester!

And remember: If you don't love in the hell are you gonna love anybody else can I get an Amen up in hurr?!


<3 G.B.

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