Serving Langar at Harvard University
New Delhi, September 17, 2012: Call it daal-roti for the soul.
Harvard University will host a first-ever langar (community kitchen) today Monday, organised by India-born chef Vikas Khanna, in the wake of the recent Wisconsin gurdwara shooting. Professors and students will sit Indian style on a mat and be served maah ki daal, gobi mattar, roti, kheer and halwa by the 41-year-old Michelin-starred chef - an Amritsar boy who now runs the upscale Manhattan restaurant Junoon.
"I want to show the generosity of Sikhism and its great tradition of langars. It's an amazing story of mankind and sharing. I hope this event will spread awareness," says Khanna, who follows the faith.
He says he's been feeling low since the August 5 hate crime that left six dead.
"We haven't reached out to enough people to tell the story of universal brotherhood through Sikhism. We have to remind people of our heritage, and that is what I am trying to achieve."
At the university, the chef will also screen his film named after Guru Nanak's message of Saacha Sauda (true business), from where the concept of langar comes.
"We are proud to support this message of compassion at Harvard University. It's great to be introduced to the great Indian traditions of food, religion and culture. It strengthens inter-faith understanding," said Ali Asani, professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures.