November 24, 2013 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Leicester, United Kingdom (November 24, 2013): According to certain local media reports on November 24, 2013 more than 10,000 people joined the Nagat Kirtan at Leicester to mark the Gurpurb of Guru Nank Sahib Ji.
The Nagar Kirtan event, which has been staged in Leicester for more than 20 years, began at Guru Tegh Bahadar Gurdwara, in East Park Road and ended at the Guru Nanak Gurdwara at Holy Bones, near St Nicholas Circle.
According to Leicester Mercury Harjot Kaur, 27, of Evington, said: “It is an important day, it means a lot to us – everyone has really been looking forward to it.”
Her sister-in-law, Sarika Kaur, 26, said: “We’re known for being colourful, so this day reflects our culture perfectly.”
The celebration began with prayers and hymns, before worshippers took to the streets for a three-hour long parade.
Food stalls lined the route, offering a selection of treats, including pizza, samosas and onion bhajis, to the passing Sangat.
Peté Singh, 26, of Highfields, said: “It meant a lot of things – getting together with everyone and getting away from everyday life.”
Preetam Singh, 18, of Rowley Fields, said: “It is extremely important to carry on these traditions, it makes us feel closer to the Guru.”
Indey Singh – Nihang, 37, of Oadby said that the procession enabled the Guru to live on.
“It meant everything to us.
“It’s not just about celebrating, it was about bringing people together too.”
Rajwant Kaur, 28, of Thurnby Lodge attended the parade with her family.
She said: “The procession makes you feel a sense of belonging”.
“It was great to bring the kids along, it is extremely important that they learn about our culture.”
Davinder Kaur, 39, of North Evington, agreed that the parade gave parents an opportunity to educate youngsters about their religion.
“The Guru taught that everyone is equal and it is important to keep that alive in today’s community”.
“It’s good that we can teach the children and younger generation and the pass the message on through this procession.”
The Nagar Kirtan event is the second of two religious processions by the Sikhs in Leicester every year. The other is Vaisakhi, the Sikh new year, in April.
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