18 October 2017
Year 7 students spent the day at an old warehouse building which has been converted into a Gurdwara, the Sikh place of worship.
The students were welcomed in and asked to remove their shoes and cover their heads, to show respect and keep such a special building clean and dirt-free. They were taken up to the large prayer room, where they bowed their heads to the Guru Granth Sahib on its beautifully decorated stage. This is the sacred writings of the Sikh religion containing 1,430 pages on every copy in the world!
Bobbie, the guide, showed the students around the spacious and calming room, before the group sat down. Eveyone who enters the building is equal in the eyes of God. It does not matter who you are or where you come from, no-one is above anyone else, and this is demonstrated by being seated together on the floor. The group had a whistle-stop tour of the history of the religion, the main beliefs and rituals, before attempting to sing a hymn and playing a number of games.
The group then experienced the Langar, this is the free meal that is offered to all who come through the doors of the Gurdwara at any time of day. Such is the commitment of Sikhs to help those in need, all food delivered is vegetarian so that no-one is ever left out. Sitting on the floor once more, the students were served a delicious meal of potato curry, rice and bread. Everyone tried and enjoyed the food, some even had seconds.
The students heard from the volunteers how they want people to understand more about their religion and the main beliefs of equality and community. It is a testament to them how many had been involved in the recent and tragic events at the Manchester Arena, by serving victims food and offering medical assistance, transport and accommodation.
Year 7 very much enjoyed spending such an unusual and exciting day of learning outside the classroom.