The efforts out in the early days put in by Sikhs to educate their children, including the girls, caught the attention of Singapore President Halimah Yacob.
While touring the exhibition for the centennial celebration of Sri Guru Singh Sabha (SGSS) Singapore today (24 June 2018), she stopped for quite a while at the spot depicting how SGSS played a role in education.
SGSS had played a major role in the advancement of Sikh religious education and Punjabi language classes for Sikh children in collaboration with Khalsa Dharmak Sabha (KDS).
The Punjabi language school at SGSS was known as the Khalsa Punjabi School then, with classes for females being conducted in SGSS and classes for males in Khalsa Dharmak Sabha at Niven Road.
Before that, Halimah had spent some time in the darbar sahib or the prayer hall of the gurdwara which dates back to 1918.
Later, she joined the Sikhs gathered for the celebration at Mount Emily Park, the grounds opposite the gurdwara.
“Over the past century, SGSS has made huge strides in contributing to the overall efforts in building a more caring, cohesive and inclusive society,” she said in a note published in a coffee table book for the celebration called Dastaan: Sri Guru Singh Sabha’s Journey – Centennial Celebration.
Also present was MP Melvin Yong.
SGSS president Tirlok Singh and centennial organising team chairman Diljit Singh Athwal spoke at the event.
“I appeal to all Sikh youth to take this opportunity to learn and have sufficient of the Punjabi Language and offer it as their Mother Tongue since we have two centres for the teaching of the Punjabi Language run by the Singapore Sikh Education Fund,” said Tirlok. “The knowledge of the Punjabi language will also help youth to read the Sri Guru Granth Sahib and have a good grasp of Sikh values, culture and religion.”
An early morning downpour did not dampen the turnout at the event. There were kirtan at gurdwara and a carnival-like event at the park across.
Sri Guru Singh Sabha Singapore – A Short History (Asia Samachar, 16 June 2018)
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