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Pacific Sikh Gatka Group Performs In Singapore

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Jun 17, 2004
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An Indian group performing Gatka, a weapon-based martial art by Sikhs, enthralled the audience by the art of defence at a religious festival held by the Sikh community here.

‘Bir Khalsa Gatka Group' from Punjab's Taran Taran, which has been promoting the Gatka art which originated in the late 19th century out of sword practice in the British Indian Army, performed during ‘Naam Ras Kirtan Darbar,' a three-day festival concluded on Sunday. “We are responding to the increasing number of calls from the global Sikh community for reviving this Gatka art among Sikhs,” said Manmohan Singh Bhagowal, who leads the 14-men group.

First visit

“This is our first visit outside Singapore to promote the art of defence, and we expect to visit more countries in the coming year on request from Sikh Diaspora,” said Mr. Bhagowal, who is also secretary-general of the Gatka Federation of India.

The group, having performed across India, would visit Canada in April during the Baisakhi festival.

“We aim to attract youngsters to this sports-type Gatka art in India and overseas,” said Mr. Bhagowal, who represents some 600 centres across India and a growing numbers of centres in the United Kingdom and the United States.

‘Naam Ras Kirtan Darbar' is held every two years in late December, with top Sikh Gyanis and Raagis singing hymns and preaching Sikhism to the Sikhs in Singapore.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article981227.ece
 

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