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Hoosier Sikhs Celebrate Guru Nanak Dev Jee's 552nd Birthday With Joyful Thanksgiving & Charhdikala

I knew that the larger Hoosier community and leaders that encouraged and created this environment for us to mainstream a...

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The largest and the oldest Sikh congregation in Indiana was an exciting place on Sunday, November 21st as the hundreds of Hoosier Sikhs and our friends in other spiritual traditions in Indiana, and millions around the world, were celebrating the Sikh Faith Founder and First Guru Nanak Devjee's (1469-1538) auspicious 552nd Parkash Aagmun (a brilliant Light arriving in this world) Birthday at the Gurdwara Sikh Satsang in Indianapolis.

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In the beautifully-decked Sanctuary, there was the enchanting Keertan (sacred music) by Hazoori Raagi Bhai Gagandeep Singhjee, and Bhai Joginder Singh Jatha (religious singers); discourse on the life and times, brilliant spiritual message and legacy of Guru Nanak, and Ardaas (prayer and petition) of peace and goodwill for individual concerns and special achievements, and the customary community announcements. In the Langar Hall (community meal and gathering place) a segment of the wall was displaying artwork created by children to reflect different historical moments in the life of Guru Nanak Devjee based on ancient Janam Sakhis and popular legends.

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Another one hundred multi-generational regular and visitors at the Gurupurab (the Guru's Special Day Celebration) were enjoying delicious Punjabi tea and traditional Indian sweets; the PBS Film Team was busy with their week-long visit for an up-coming Documentary about the Hoosier victims families' devastating losses and sadness and continuing concerns, and the Hoosier Sikh community's valiant efforts at recovery and moving forward from the shock and sadness of the FedEx Shooting tragedy of April 14, 2021 in which eight innocent Hoosiers including four Sikhs were murdered. We deeply mourn the loss of these eight precious lives and pray for their grieving families.

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Guru Nanak art competition

There was a Spirit of Thanksgiving and Charhdikala in the air. It was amazing to see the joy and a sense of optimism, pride and commitment to serve, not just the Hoosier Sikh community but share our blessings with newcomers, the recent Afghan refugees, and those challenged in our own towns and cities across Indiana. The followers of Guru Nanak to whom he had blessed over five hundred years ago: "to scatter to the ends of earth from the Punjab, the Birthplace of Sikhism, and spread the glorious message of Divine Love for all sentient Beings and our Oneness as a Human Family, and to serve and prosper at the new crossroads," was manifested before us, right here in the Hoosier Heartland of the United States of America.

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I felt a sense of great humility and joy to have been given the privilege to witness and to be a small part of this amazing Hoosier Sikhs and international community journey for the past 54 years. I knew that the larger Hoosier community and leaders that encouraged and created this environment for us to mainstream and pioneer our commitments, our talents and culture are an important reason as to where we are as a City, State, and Hoosier family, and together we are moving forward to get where we feel at home and proudly serve our Nation. These welcoming and visionary friends are the one's who "gave us seats in homes not our own" - Rabindranath Tagore; and came to console us when we were hurting; and joined us for celebrations that affirmed our sense of belonging. We thank them and countless others who lift us up each new day! ~ Respectfully, KP Singh KP Singh Designs - Indianapolis, Indiana USA - November 21, 2021

Kanwal Prakash 'KP' Singh

KP participates in interfaith and humanitarian initiatives (Interfaith Hunger Initiative); activities and celebrations of diverse faiths and ethnic communities in Indiana.  KP assists with cultural training for Police Officers and TSA personnel; works with teachers, students, civic leaders to create a better understanding of Sikh and other faith traditions and contributions. KP advocates interfacing and mainstreaming ethnic talents, assets to benefit and serve all Americans.

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