By Asia Samachar Team | CANADA |
Wedding planners and a gurdwara committee caught napping may have led to a Sikh wedding in Oakville, Canada, that has caused a stir within the wider Sikh community.
In a video clip that went viral, a couple could be seen doing the Anand Karaj lavan, the circumambulation around the Guru Granth Sahib in a Sikh wedding, and then sitting on a chair. Usually, the couple sits on the floor, along with the rest of the congregation.
In a statement, Halton Sikh Cultural Association (HSCA) said its management deeply regretted the ‘untraditional’ marriage ceremony and was investigating the matter.
“Unfortunately, it seems the wedding planners have acted on their own without any permission from the management,” according to the letter signed by HSCA president Balbir Singh Chohan and general secretary Amrik Singh Deol.
HSCA manages the gurdwara where incident took place on 4 July 2019.
When contacted by Asia Samachar yesterday, a Halton gurdwara staff confirmed that the association had issued the letter.
“We are really sorry for the incident. Our officials are at this moment in a meeting with the Ontario Sikh council on the same subject,” he said.
However, Asia Samachar could not confirm if the either or both of the couple had any medical issues prior to the wedding ceremony that may have warranted the wedding planners to request for the low chair.
If they do not have valid medical condition, then they should have observed the usual practice as prescribed in the Sikh Reht Maryada (SRM), or the Sikh code of conduct. That was the general response from many readers when Asia Samachar shared the video clip on Friday (5 July).
Chairs and raised platforms are now becoming more common in gurdwaras to accommodate the elderly and those with medical issues. They are usually placed at the corners of the prayer hall called darbar sahib.
However, very few Sikhs would have seen chairs decked out for a wedding couple for the lavan ceremomy.
In an interesting reader interaction at the Asia Samachar Facebook page, a reader asked how would the Anand Karaj be handled if one of the couple was wheelchair-bound?
In response, another reader shared what she observed from a wedding video some years ago. They skipped the circumambulation. Both couple sat through the reading and the singing of the lavan shabads.
THE LETTER FROM THE HALTON GURDWARA
Halton Sikh Cultural Association, 2403 Khalsa Gate, Oakville, Ontario, Canada, L6M 4J2
5 July 2019 |Press Release
Guru Piaree Sadh Sangat Ji.
Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh
The management of Halton Sikh Cultural Association deeply regrets the untraditional marriage ceremony of yesterday at Halton Sikh Cultural Association (Gurudwara Sahib Ji), which has caused much pains, hurts and sadness among the Sikhs Sadh Sangat. The management will investigate every aspects of the ceremony and inform the Sikh Sadh Sangat what has caused this incident.
Unfortunately, it seems the wedding planners have acted on their own without any permission from the management.
The Halton Sikh Cultural Association (Gurudwara Sahib Ji) have always followed the Guru Rehat Maryada of Shree Akal Takhat Sahib Ji. The management of Halton Sikh Cultural Association sincerely apologize and ask for forgiveness from Shree Guru Nanak Nam Leva Sadh Sangat Ji.
In future, we will certainly use extreme alertness and monitor every activity in order to avoid any such incident.
Balbir Singh Chohan, President and Amrik Singh Deol, General Secretary
Wedding Movie? Or recording a sacred ceremony? (Asia Samachar, 9 July 2019)