Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | 15 July 2015 | Asia Samachar |
The Malaysian-based Sri Dasmesh Pipe Band, dubbed as the largest Sikh Pipe Band in the world, is set to make history by being the first Sikh Pipe Band to perform in Scotland and also the first Malaysian pipe band to compete in the World Pipe Band Championships.
The band, which will celebrate 30 years of its establishment in 2016, is a much sought after group for various Sikh programmes in Southeast Asia and also around the world.
The band has given a run to other bands at competitions. Most recently, it swept the overall bag pipe band group competition at the 2nd Kuala Lumpur Highland Games (KLHG 2015) in Kuala Lumpur in May, winning 13 medals along the way.
Now, they have trained their sight on the Glasgow, Scotland, two-day competition, billed as the world’s largest pipe band competition. It begins on 15 Aug.
The competition features bands from all over the world playing in eight different grades. The current world champions are Northern Ireland’s Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band which has won for the last four years, according to information on the event website.
The band has also lineup up a number of programmes at gurdwaras in Glasgow and Edinburgh, both in Scotland.
In an update on the band’s Facebook page, the band has this note:
It will go down in history as the first time a Sikh Pipe Band is visiting Scotland and also the first time a Malaysian Pipe Band is represented in the World Pipe Band Championships!
Why is this so significant?
The Scots and the Sikhs have had association for more than 2 centuries. This association started when Maharaja Ranjit Singh recruited Scottish military advisors to his army in the early 19th century.
Punjab was annexed by the British in 1849. In 1856 Capt Thomas Rattray (a Scot) from the East Indian Co. was tasked to set up the 45th Rattray’s Infantry Regiment in Lahore and probably, the first ever Sikh Pipe Band was established in this Regiment.
Subsequently, many other Sikh Regiments were established over the years and the tradition of military pipe bands continued. These pipe bands lead the Sikh Regiments in WW1 and WW2. They played at King George VI (1911) coronation in London. These bands were also playing at the Victory Marchs in London and Paris in 1919.
The Sri Dasmesh Pipe Band is today the largest Sikh Pipe Band in the world and we would like to keep alive the great contribution of the Sikhs in fighting for human rights and the freedom of speech. These turbaned warriors fought tyranny and oppression for over 400 years now starting with our great Guru Arjan Dev Ji.
The Sikh Turbaned soldiers fought with the allied forces all over europe, the middle and far east against the axis of evil. The cost was more than 85,005 lost their lives, which is almost the same combined loses as the Australians and New Zealanders together. Sadly very few people internationally know of the significant contributions of the Sikhs.
Lest we forget their contribution and the Sri Dasmesh Band will keep their memories forever alive.
Facebook handle: Sri Dasmesh Pipe Band (Malaysian Sikh Band)
Sri Dasmesh pipe band wins big at KL Scottish games (Asia Samachar, 18 May 2015)
Sri Dasmesh shines at Anzac Day Parade (Asia Samachar, 26 Apr 2015)