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Role of the Gurdwara changed to meet the needs of the Sikh community

Discussion in 'Essays on Sikhism' started by Arvind, Jul 28, 2006.

  1. Arvind

    Arvind
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    Following msg is taken off from "Introduce Yourself" thread. This msg is actually posted by beanface aka Simon.



    Hi all.
    My dissertations official title is "
    In what ways has the role of the Gurdwara changed to meet the needs of the Sikh community in Diaspora?" It was made with help from my lecturer so sounds a little more formal than i would have intended. I am not a great explainer of my own work but here goes: My introduction deals with, as an overview, the history of Guru Nanaks decleration that trappings such as temples and idols were not welcome within the faith, this i thought was important as it shows that, to start with, the 'gurdwara' was a gathering, similar in concept to the early christian church as an underground movement, meeting outside of the urban sprawl. This whole element of the beginings of Sikhism is something which i may have misinterpreted, but beleive could very well have been the feeling of the Sikhs at the time of Guru Nanak. It then follows on to say that Guru Hargobind created the phrase "Gurdwara", or so the McLeod books i have say, a quote from Pashaura Singh-Brars book Sikh Identity, Continuity and Change on the early dharamsalas and how they were not gurdwaras, along with some information on the early functions of gurdwaras. My frist chapter is history and the gurdwara and details some of the history of the gurdwara, relevent events such as the storming of the Amritsar Temple by the Indian army in 1984, as an example both of the Sikh devotion to defending the right of ones faith and ones principles, and that Gurdwaras are not only like churches in christianity, just places to pray and sing hyms, but a living dimention of the Sikh community, somethiing like a church with the community centre, which should be down the road, right inside it. I mention Langar and how this continues today, and that the first places of gathering for whorship which could be termed 'places' as opposed to spaces of worship, were often peoples homes or private buildings. I found that this too fitted in with my idea of a faith fighting against the odds, which in the later part of the ten Gurus history it indeed became violent and an unequal battle in terms of material numbers. I also mention the Adi Granth as a source of authority, and how Guru Gobhind Singh created the Panth to be the second source of authority.
    I then go on to mention Gurdwaras in the UK, now as a title that may sound quite boring, but i have decided, and made a small start, to combine actual real gurdwara stuff in this part of the project. I will get a book or two on places like bradford, i know that there are a few which would allow me to get enough references, and the, because i cant really travel everywhere, i will webhunt as much data as possible on Gurdwaras in the UK, what its like to be in one, what goes on, and all that kind of stuff so that i can build a picture, when im writing about what effects british culture and society has had on the gurdwara here, so that i do not seem so aloof from the subject. Although i have not yet started them, the third paragraph is hopefully going to be about Sikh gurdwaras in America and other countries, but if the figures i have seen are to be believed, there are only around 5 million Sikhs outside of the Punjab. Now i read this in McLeod, and whilst he has provided me with many quotes and taught me a bit about the Gurus, I have read many peoples comments against his style and attitude towards his subjects of study. Whilst i am no professional I take such comments seriously, and so only use his work for factual, rather than opinion-driven, quotes. I am also taking a guess here, after seeing that there were so many gurdwaras in the UK, that there are more Sikhs in the UK than anywhere else outside of the Punjab? Finally my conclusion is how Gurdwaras have changed, and it is my beleif already that whilst the materials and certain apsects may have changed for legal reasons in certain countries, the Sikh faith has found itself at a point of triumph in the way that its customs and religious traditions have been fought for, and won. :)

    And thats that. I also write horror stories for fun and have tried to get them published, but failed because i found out that you have to get a book done before people will take on short stories, although i could fill 100,000 + words of a book with em:D (i like these face things)

    Oh yeah, and my names simon and i live in Frome in Somerset in the UK:)
     
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  3. hps62

    hps62
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    Are you the same Simon singh who cracked the Fermat theorem and wrote the coding theory ?

    love

    hps62
     
  4. beanface

    beanface
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    Oh no, Im a ordnary person who has written nothing important, my names simon gibson, and im a student whos disertation is on gurdwara changes throughout time and its relevence to the Sikh Panth worldwide. I wish I had cracked some cool problem or other though. My current dilema is a far more base demand, to finish two chapters of the project and the conclusion in two weeks with 6 books, the web, and a whole lot of hot air.:)
     
  5. Arvind

    Arvind
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    Sat Sri Akaal Simon,

    After reading the introduction of the topic, I believe you are going to capture very important social perhaps political instances too.

    It is interesting to note that, as a kid, I used to hear wherever there are a few sikh families…. may be even as less as ten… they first build a gurudwara. And look, recently I learnt abt a sikh in Brazil, just a single family, and that lady built gurudwara after the departure of her husband. So yes, sikh and gurudwara co-exist like a need.

    In the beginning, those may have been a place to meditate, keertan, langar etc. During early 1900s, I read so many accounts of gurudwaras as a place for discussion of social and political events!!! Read the history of the very first gurudwaras in USA/Canada, and one comes to know that freedom-fighters from India used to work during day for earning, and then spend other time for planning the ghadar (the revolt). Poets, Writers used to invoke the sleeping self-esteem of people with their lectures.

    You may like to research Miri-Piri aspect of Sikhi, somehow I feel it should give you a direction towards more information.

    UK has significant population, but don’t miss out on other areas of the world. I recall a post on sikh population around the world, this would give you more direction towards selecting places.

    As a starting point, I would explore gurudwaras – the five Takhats in India, Historical gurudwaras (as in Abbotsford etc), Guru’s actions related gurudwaras (Panja Sahib, Bangla Sahib etc.. not sure, if u get anything relevant to your work though)

    Did you find me good at giving unnecessary advices? Well, I just found this kind of writing a great documentation in making.

    Sincerely, Arvind.
     
  6. beanface

    beanface
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    Hi.
    Thanks for the info, i will try and find something useful to add to the project, i got a letter yesterday telling me that i only have to do 5000 insted of 10000 words, so im soon yto be finished i expect, although with luck this time i will pass. My last title was the spiritual decline of the western world, and boy that waas a dross, but i have fpound that this project is far more defineable both in terms of fact and also of opinion. Anyhow, with luck this will pass and i will be an official member of letters club (but i would not actually put BA after my name, but it would be cool for business cards and stuff:) Thanks again. Simon:)
     
  7. sahnis

    sahnis
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    Hello Arvind,
    Can you please provide me an email or physical address of Sohbag Kaur Khalsa, the American Sikh settled in Brazil you mentioned. I am in Brazil and would like to meet her.
    Any lead will be helpful

     
  8. Arvind

    Arvind
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    sahnis ji,

    I had read an article about the Singhs. Currently, I do not have any contact information, but I will try to research.

    Thanks, Arvind.

    Ref: http://www.tribuneindia.com/2006/20060116/chd.htm

    sahnis ji... looks like I found the details... I have sent a PM to you. Please check it. Thanks. I didnt publish the contact details publicly due to obvious reasons.
     
    #7 Arvind, Aug 15, 2006
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2006
  9. hps62

    hps62
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    Dear Amnaji

    ssakal

    I got to tell you that all that is written on this site is available on google .

    Even your PM.

    so please find other ways to communicate any message u regard as precious.

    Regards

    hps62
     
  10. Admin Singh

    Admin Singh
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    hps62 ji, can you provide the link as to where even the PM are available on Google... We will be highly grateful and take necessary steps to check this leakage, if any. Regards.
     

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