Scottish Sikhs Secure River Site For Funerals

The distance is too far for some grieving families to travel, and attempts by the Sikh community in Scotland to find a s...

The River Clyde in Port Glasgow, Inverclyde, is more than 5,000 miles from the sacred river which runs through India, where it is a ritual of both Sikh and Hindu religions to scatter ashes in running water. [note: The most notable river in the Hindu tradition is Ganga while the Sutlej river at gurdwara Kiratpur Sahib is the sanctioned site for Sikh rites.]

The distance is too far for some grieving families to travel, and attempts by the Sikh community in Scotland to find a suitable spot closer to home to scatter ashes in the sea, or in waters leading to the sea, had proved fruitless...

...A spokesman for Inverclyde Council said: “We have been dealing with the Sikh and Indian community for some time with a view to identifying a suitable location for scattering ashes on the Clyde.

“Clearly this is a very sensitive issue and we have been doing our best to help.

“The group has approached every local authority looking for assistance and we are hopeful that the assistance we have provided will help with the solemn and dignified scattering of ashes.

“One of the rites of Sikh funerals is scattering the ashes of loved ones in flowing water such as a river or the sea.

“Members of the Sikh community in the west of Scotland have been trying to find a suitable and accessible location to allow this to take place in the River Clyde.

“The only suitable location identified is the slipway at Port Glasgow.

“As a welcoming place and one that supports people of all faiths and none in saying their final farewell to loved ones, it is right that we support ­members of the wider Scottish Sikh community where we can...

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