On Tuesday November 12, 2019, devout Sikh residents of Pattaya made a special pilgrimage to the Siri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara in Soi 17, where special programmes were arranged such as reading the Holy Scriptures and singing kirtans (religious songs) continuously for 48 hours.
Pattaya Sikh Community President Amrik Singh Kalra and VP Praramjit Singh Ghogar headed the event, celebrating the birth of Sri Guru Nanak Devji 550 years ago.
On this most auspicious occasion the Sikh congregation was honoured by the visit of Mayor Sonthaya Kunplome, Amnart Charoensri, Banglamung District Chief Officer and Poramet Ngampichet – Dep. Minister of Culture. A delegation of high-ranking government officials including many distinguished religious leaders of the community also attended.
At the end of the prayer session, Vice Chairman of the Sikh temple, Paramjit Singh Ghogar related the history of the Sikh religion to the distinguished visitors saying, “Guru Nanak Dev Ji founded Sikhism in the 15th century. He advocated equality of races and genders and rejected worship of idols. Sikhism broke away from Hinduism and Islam, the main religions of India. Sikhism is not just a form of religion or belief, but a form of Faith, in One Supreme Power that reigns beyond the scope of time and space. Sikhism has about 27 million followers world-wide, most of whom live in India.
“Today we are celebrating Gurpurab, the 550th anniversary of the founding of the Sikh religion. Gurpurabs or festivals are anniversaries associated with the lives of the Sikh Gurus.”
Devotees both men and women chanted the Sri Guru Granth Sahib for 24 hours and events were held in both the morning and evening with devotees gathering to pray throughout the 3-day celebration.
The mayor said that he was very familiar with the Sikh community in Thailand especially here in Pattaya. “My friendship with the Sikh community goes back decades. You were one of the first pioneers of this town going back almost 50 years. Pattaya recognises you and thanks you for your steadfastness and dedication in the development of our city and society. On this important occasion, I would like to wish all of you happiness and prosperity.”
The most eventful morning of prayer and celebration ended with the Langar or community lunch which was served to people of all walks of life and of all faiths. Local volunteers served the food with a spirit of Seva (service) and Bhakti (devotion).