Flying the Nishan Sahib on Mt. Kilimanjaro

“We as a community have been blessed with the physical capacity to carry out such difficult journeys, but it seems to me...

Mount Kilimanjaro, a place vivid in history, culture, and popular imagination. A group of Sikh hikers had the amazing experience of hoisting the Nishan Sahib at the summit of Africa on 29th July 2018. Using the popular Machame route, it took them seven days of arduous hiking to reach the summit on the day of the lunar eclipse.

The group consisted of six friends from Vancouver, British Columbia, and represented the spectrum of generations – from Baby Boomers to Gen X, Y, Millennials, and Gen Z.

For Satwinder Singh, an engineering entrepreneur, it was one more tick off his bucket list. “As an avid hiker, I always want to up the game each time,” he says.

Sher Singh, who at 15 was the youngest of the group, looks back at the whole experience with the typical teenager’s insouciance! “Many people climb the mountain every day,” he says, “There were at least a couple of hundred people that summited with us, and many people accomplish the same thing we did.” The subtext to his experience seems to be, What’s the big deal?

For Amar Virk, one of the principal organizers of the trip, the adventure held a lot more meaning and resonance. “It is vitally important for us to experience discomfort in our lives,” he philosophizes. “In hindsight, those moments of feeling uncomfortable become our greatest gifts.” He points out that Sikh history is draped in that resilience...

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