Taiping Sikhs prepare for centenary celebration in November

A series of events will be held on Nov 7-13 to celebrate setting up of Sri Guru Singh Sabha Taiping

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| Taiping, Malaysia | 21 Sept 2016 Asia Samachar |
TAIPING 100: A gathering of Sikhs in Taiping in an undated photo - PHOTO / SGGS
TAIPING 100: A gathering of Sikhs in Taiping in an undated photo – PHOTO / SGGS

Taiping Sikhs have planned a series of events in November, including a kirtan procession and a history exhibition, to celebrate the centenary of the Sri Guru Singh Sabha Taiping (SGSS).

The Sabha, or association, was responsible to build a gurdwara which stands till today at the present site in the state of Perak.

The one-week celebration on Nov 7-13 coincides with the gurpurab (birthday) celebration of Guru Nanak, the first Sikh Guru.

“Why did we choose to have the program on Guru Nanak Ji’s Parkash Purab? After the establishment of SGGS in 1916, the foundation stone for the gurdwara was laid on 26 November 1920 during the parkash purab of Guru Nanak,” SGGS Taiping committee president Balraaj Singh tells Asia Samachar.

Taiping is about 270km from Kuala Lumpur. The event comes on the heels of recent centenary celebrations of gurdwaras in Kampar in Perak and Kuala Pilah in Pahang.

SEE ALSO: Kuala Lipis gurdwara solid as ever 100 years later 

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The series of events in Taiping will begin with daily Satsangs, or congregational prayer programmes, in the evenings of Nov 7-10.

This will be followed by an akhand path, the continuous reading of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, on Nov 11-13.

One major event will be a Nagar Kirtan on 12 Nov where a kirtan procession will be held around town starting from the Gurdwara compound.

There will also be an exhibition on the arrival of Sikhs to Tanah Melayu and a display of Sikh darmik (religious) items. On 13 Nov, an Amrit Sanchar will be held for those wanting to  partake the khanda-da-pahul.

The “100 Years 100 Donors” blood donation drive will be held on 12 Nov where  the organising team hopes to get at least 100 blood donors.

As part of the celebration, the organising team has requested for discounted hotel rates and tickets for tourism spots.

“Let’s make it ‘A weekend in Taiping’ with SGSS. It will be an honour and a blessing if we could all get together to celebrate this historical event,” said Balraaj.

History

By 1860s, Sikhs were already serving as police officers and military personnel under Perak Armed Forces, later renamed the First Battalion Perak Sikhs.

In 1896, Malay State Guide was formed. The Gurdwara was located at their barracks in Taiping. However, it was difficult for civilian Sikhs to join the congregation due to tight security measures, according to an information on the SGGS history shared with Asia Samachar.

In 1916, SGSS was formed by a few Sikhs from the forces. They successfully build a Gurdwara (at the current location) in 1921. A new double story building was built in 1971.

“The Taiping Sikh community is proud to be given the title as one of the oldest Sikh Gurdwara in the country and also one of the first Sikh settlements in Malaysia,” said Balraaj.

The logo for the centenary celebration of the setting up of Sri Guru Singh Sabha Taiping
The logo for the centenary celebration of the setting up of Sri Guru Singh Sabha Taiping

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[ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs / Punjabis in Asia. How to reach us: Facebook message or WhatsApp +6017-335-1399. Our email: editor@asiasamachar.com. For obituary announcements, click here]

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