It was good to be asked to appear on Aled Jones’s show last Sunday.
Here is part 1 of 2, re: the Interview …
And I’m pleased to say that our regular Sikh contributor Dr savi Arora is with us today… morning Savi… good to see you again.
Now we’ve been talking about places of worship on the show this morning what can you tell us about Sikh places of worship?
- Sikh temples are called Gurdwaras… which literally means Guru’s House or Door. So it’s the place to goto to learn from the Gurus. Each Gurdwara houses the Guru Granth Sahib… which is the holy book and of course religious ceremonies take place there including events like weddings.
But the gurdwara is for more than just worship isn’t it?
- As well as being a place for religious services, the Gurdwara also serves as a community centre, a school, a guest house for pilgrims and travellers – and not just Sikhs , occasionally a clinic, and a base for local charitable activities.
Now the famous Golden Temple in Amritsar is recognised as one of the most beautiful religious buildings in the world… what are Gurdwaras like in the UK?
- Well most of the Sikh community in this country was established after the second world war so for a long time Gurdwaras were in people’s houses or commercial spaces. And then communities would buy a school or industrial complex that were no longer being used… but now we have some large and spectacular ones… for example, both Southall and West London based Gurdwara’s have been visited by Prince Charles and the Queen over the last few years. In fact one that my father went to was originally in a an old dairy that the community purchased (this is true? Yes?)
- One of the oldest Gurdwara is Britain, in all of Europe in fact, which is in Shepherds Busch in London and it is celebrating it’s 100th anniversary this year.
It’s interesting that churches are often used by other religious communities when they are no longer required for Christian worship… what does that say
- My understanding is that there have been church halls that have been made available for groups to run Yoga classes and community events. I believe that this shows there is not a sense of possessiveness or a demand for exclusiveness related building ownership
- If we all respect each other in terms of the cliché that there are many paths and they all lead to the same goal, then as a message for greater interfaith understanding this has to be viewed as a positive. I personally am a big fan of bringing people together to raise funds for a common cause. Amazingly people then forget their differences and focus on the common cause a common love for doing something for humanity under a house that happens to be where some go to pray.
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