INDIA Cultural Centre of Canada’s Gurdwara Nanak Niwas has been a very busy place during the past few days. On Sunday, November 17 was the birthday celebration of Guru Nanak Dev ji. A large number of devotees visited the gurdwara to pay their respect to the founder of the Sikh religion. Guru Nanak Dev was a shining light who showed the world a unique way to lead a productive and peaceful life. His three principals – make an honest living, share, be thankful to God Almighty – are universal in nature. In the evening the celebration concluded with prayers and a delicious vegetarian meal.
Monday, November 18 brought together seniors for yoga in the morning. This was followed by a very impressive presentation by Tegan Bethune from the Nidus Personal Planning Resource Centre and Registry. More than 50 seniors took advantage of this initiative sponsored by Richmond Multicultural Community Services’ Kamal Sandhu and hosted by the gurdwara. This presentation dealt with Representation Agreements – a new and unique legal document for personal planning. Bethune emphasized that a Representation Agreement is a legal document in BC for appointing someone to make health and personal care decisions. It can also cover routine finances. The participants were very appreciative for this valuable information.
Tuesday, November19 was a celebration of Multiculturalism. The week of November 17 to 23 is the Multiculturalism Week in BC. About 30 members of the Provincial Multicultural Advisory Council and ministry officials visited various places of worship along Richmond’s Highway to Heaven. The main objective of this visit was to promote cultural understanding, intercultural awareness and learning opportunity for the visitors about the most diverse road in all of British Columbia.
They concluded their visit at Gurdwara Nanak Niwas (# 5 Road Gurdwara). At the gurdwara they were warmly welcomed by Chairman Asa Singh Johal, his family and the gurdwara management team lead by President Chain Singh Batth. The participants were given a guided tour of the gurdwara. They were also given a brief history of Sikhism and the #5 Road Gurdwara. As part of this visit, the guests were treated to a delicious vegetarian lunch.
The visitors seemed to enjoy their visit as was evident from their positive comments. Madhavee Inamdar, Program Manager, Multicultural Advisory Council Secretariat, thanked the management of the gurdwara for a very warm welcome. Initiatives like this go a long way in creating more pride and appreciation for multiculturalism and cultural diversity not only in B.C., but all across this nation.
(Balwant Sanghera is a retired school psychologist and community activist)
(Photos by Chandra Bodalia)