Colourful martial arts display brought by Sikh Holla Mohalla festival

A colourful display of Sikh martial arts helped to raise community spirits in Smethwick.

The Holla Mohalla festival is a major part of the Sikh calendar which allows Sikhs to demonstrate their martial skills in simulated battles, promoting physical and mental well-being.
The festival marks the ‘Chardi kala’ or positive state of the Khalsa and started in 1701 after the 10th Sikh Guru, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji held the first Holla at Anandpur Sahib, Punjab...
...The Gurdwara, which is the largest in western Europe, also ensured provisions were made with the current coronavirus pandemic in mind, with hand sanitisers in place and crowds kept to a minimum around the events.
Many in attendance also paid deferential respect at the Gurdwara, taking part in religious diwans before the festival started and taking refreshment in the Langar Kitchen...
...Gatka was the main focus of the day, with a tournament taking place, while there also demonstrations of wrestling, mock sword fights, acrobatic military exercises and turban tying.
Ryan Singh, events lead at the Gurdwara, said the celebration was all about giving a small taste of the larger celebrations in India.
He said: “The event was a full celebration of a big part of our calendar. We also wanted to help lift community spirits and give reassurance to everyone that the Gurdwara is here to support people during this uncertain time. Everyone needs to have some happiness and despite the greyness of this time, we hope the event added some colour to the day of those who attended.”

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