| Letter | Malaysia | 22June 2016 | Asia Samachar |
The most recent chapter of the long-running Gurdwara Cup ended on a good note. Seremban played host to the inter-state Sikh games involving Malaysia and Singapore. It was a resounding success.
The execution was largely flawless due to its long history of 65 years, running at almost auto pilot mode. There can be no doubt that this sporting event fosters commendable positive values and offers a platform for up and coming talent.
On the other hand, some may challenge that certain practises associated with the tournament are detrimental to the Sikh values. Over the years, it has raised some tough questions for the organisers.
It’s common knowledge that this cup is also jokingly referred to as ‘huru-hara‘ (Malay for chaos) cup owing to its highly festive nature which involves huge amounts of drinking and merry making.
While it’s acceptable for sports to go hand in hand with recreation, many Sikhs have a problem with the event being called Gurdwara Cup due to representation issues. The organisers defend that sports and religion shouldn’t mix but are left with the incriminating fact that the very name of the sporting event, in essence, is very much religious in nature.
In Seremban this year, some of us felt let down by the organisers on a few sentiments namely:
– Not delivering their promise to make the event alcohol free at the designated venues
– Setting an unhealthy standard amongst Sikh youth on promoting a drinking culture (consuming alcohol)
– And perhaps the more blatant issue of disrespecting the holy 5 Pyare incident during the opening ceremony where alcohol was visibly arranged at the venue.
There’s never a single event which has been, and can be, organised at the level of a ‘Perfect 10’. There are bound to be inevitable hiccups or short comings along the way. We appreciate the massive task that organiser’s face. We understand the challenges.
However, we hope the organisers would view the issues highlighted as crucial areas for improvement for the coming years.
They definitely call for some serious reflection to be done in good faith, preferably without any mud slinging by any party. There can be no one answer which will satisfy all quarters, and therein lies the challenge.
Whatever the decision, some will find it a difficult pill to swallow. Suggestions to simply change the name of the tournament may or may not make all the unhappy sentiments go away. The decision, in the end, has to be made collectively for the betterment of the Sikh community and one which would hopefully promote good values beyond just sports and culture.
– Concerned Sportsman
KL dethrones Perak at Malaysia-Singapore Sikh games, retains Gurdwara Cup for hockey (Asia Samachar, 6 June 2016)
Negeri Sembilan MB opens 65th Gurdwara Cup and Sikh Festival Of Sports 2016 (Asia Samachar, 2 June 2016)
Perak creates history at Gurdwara Cup (Asia Samachar, 8 June 2015)