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Langar In The West


Jan 24, 2010
WaheGuru Fateh WaheGuru Ji Ka Khalsa<?"urn::eek:ffice:eek:ffice" />

Born into a Sikh family ,raised in London all my life. Visited the local Gurudwara and various Gurudwaras around the world.
I am fully aware of the principal of communal langer in the Gurudwara ,all men and women are equal.Mainly dispel the Hindu caste system.

Now over the years I have seen the Gurudwara used as a restaurant ,I have tried to find another word but there is no other word.
People come in pop a 10pence donation, they then have a slap up hot meal consisting of at least 2 veg dishes,rice,roti and a sweet washed down with a hot cup of sweet tea.I have heard some even moaning about the food being served.Some people will eat in the Gurudwara and later go down to the pub !!!
Sikhism is unique in this communal langer BUT I just cannot agree with it anymore,especially in the overfed west.
I think the langer should be a token gesture for the sangat ,they should have the bhog in the langer hall and that's it.
The worshippers should make a donation of money instead of food (milk,butter,flour,veg..etc) the funds raised should fund charity work in the community to promote Sikhism.Funds could provide food,education and shelter in Punjab and other places of need.
I know alot of people will state "the Guruji's started langer" so who am I to say otherwise.I agree changing or manipulating the principals is a dangerous move BUT there must some way of preventing this abuse of a worthy principal.
Apologies if I have offended anyone.There must be other's who have
noticed this.
Last edited by a moderator:


May 8, 2010
re: Langar In The West..

Hi Singh

You will first need to get the financial accounts of the Gurudwara to see what they are spending their money on and then you need to join commitee's instead of thinking the internet will change anything, then again I could be wrong as Gurudwara member might see your message so you could have a point here

About the langar...... I was viewing the Hari Singh Nalwa youtube video about Bibi Bano and it said that no one leaves empty handed from the place of the guru so I think thats why we have langar

With regards to any abuse of langar then that would be the problem of the individuals and we can only hope that they change their ways


manj kr

Feb 4, 2011
Re: Langar In The West..

wjkk wjkf,

I must agree with you here, I do seva at the local guruwara and there are people who complain about the food, tea, etc. Yes the guruji started the langar, but that was to promote equality and to feed the poor and quote 'Langar expresses the ethics of sharing, community, inclusiveness and oneness of all humankind. "..the Light of God is in all hearts."<sup id="cite_ref-4" class="reference">[5
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Langar_(Sikhism)#cite_note-4In the guruwara sahibs,in India, there is just basic daal and roti and no one really complains. As you have said I have many times also said to the guruwara that there should be just daal roti and that money for langar should go to a charity and for people who need help and money.We are fortunate enough to have food, shelter, money and thus we should be thinking about others and not just about ourselves. That was sikhi is all about - its not about the self, it is about doing things for others, the community, underprivileged people.
The worse thing is when people do demand a certain menu, etc. There shouldnt be demands, etc in guruji's house.
These are just my thoughts and experiences.


Aug 17, 2010
World citizen!
Re: Langar In The West..

bsc1 ji,
On one level I agree with you. However, langar is vital as it brings people together and if it wasn't for langar many would not have come to Gurdwara and been attracted to Sikhi in the first place. Even if people aren't Sikhs or don't follow Sikhi, langar is not supposed to be discriminatory so at least those people are off the streets. At our local Gurdwara, langar feeds lots of Indian students who can't afford food anymore on an almost daily basis. Another Gurdwara I used to attend had a white homeless guy come every week. What we should be doing is publicising the langar so more people who need it are welcome regardless of who they are. If more has to be made for all, it will automatically make people think again and keep it simple to make it manageable. We used to give leftovers to homeless food bank but health and safety laws in the UK have now made that impossible so lets encourage people to come to us :interestedkudi::interestedsingh:gingerteakaur

manj kr

Feb 4, 2011
Yes in a way I do agree with you...but it depends on the guruwara and that sangat..if there are people like that,i.e. homeless,etc - then a full langar is needed.
But my meaning wasnt that there shouldnt be a langar,but that if it is possible ton now and then do basic food and give money to help,for eg,khalsa aid,etc...then that shoulkd be done and ppl should not treat it like a restairant and make demands like a menu...
wjkk wjkf

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