Bangkok gets new Sikh centre

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Bangkok will greet a new Sikh centre to complement the only gurdwara in the Thai capital after more than 100 years.

The Guru Nanak Dharam Parchaar Center (GNDPC) will open its doors tomorrow (Sun, Dec 21, 2014).

The centre, housed in a single storey purpose-build building, is located about half an hour’s drive from the Siri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara, until now the only gurdwara sahib in the city.

The day will start tomorrow with a programme called ‘Amritwela sach naw vadiyai vichar’ at 4am followed by the hoisting of the nishan sahib (Khalsa flag). The opening programme begins at 3pm with the recitation of Sukhmani Sahib followed by a nagar kirtan and a kirtan darbar, according to invites sent out.

“After over 100 years of only one Gurdwara Sahib in Bangkok, this is big,” one Bangkok-based Sikh, who declined to be named, told Asia Samachar.

The Siri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara, the backbone of the Sikh community in Thailand, began its journey in 1912 when the growing Sikh population in Bangkok rented a house.

The growing population and the traffic situation has led to a segment of the Bangkok Sikh population to start considering tbe need to build another gurdwara sahib in Bangkok. Sikh population in Thailand is estimated around 50,000, with 40,000 of them in Bangkok.

“There are also many senior citizens living in the area of the new center. It will be easier for them to go to the Guru Ghar (gurdwara),” said one volunteer at the center.

Volunteers working to get Bangkok's GNDPC ready for Sunday opening.
Volunteers working to get Bangkok’s GNDPC ready for Sunday opening.
Bangkok's GNDPC lighted up, all set for Sunday opening.
Bangkok’s GNDPC lighted up, all set for Sunday opening.
Spanking clean: Volunteers at work at Bangkok's GNDPC.
Spanking clean: Volunteers at work at Bangkok’s GNDPC.

The newly established centre will today elect its management team in a unique manner.

Members prepared to serve will be asked to write their names on a paper which will then be folded and dropped into  bowl. After an ardaas (prayer), five names will be picked at random and they will run the centre, according to one member.

The opening  and daily functioning of the GNDPC will be broadcast on channel RF 22, according to another update from the members of the center.

Photos sent to Asia Samachar show center members busy making last minute preparation for the opening.

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