In My Hands

AKASHDIP SINGH looks at how langgar and degh should be served now that we have gone through the novel coronavirus pandemic ordeal

Serving Langgar at a Kuala Lumpur gurdwara – Photo: Asia Samachar file photo, 2018
By Akashdip Singh | OPINION |

It is a Sunday afternoon, May 2020. The last two months has changed my perspective on what I used to consider normal. With the pandemic, it is no longer acceptable to shake hands, let alone giving someone a hug. When situation returns to ‘normal’ or perhaps the ‘new normal’; however we may want to call it, one major aspect that should not be taken for granted is the community kitchen in our Gurdwaras.

Today we generally serve ‘karah parshad’ [also called degh] once the programme is complete with bare hands. During langgar, we serve bread (parshada) with bare hands as well. Do we want to continue doing this? Should we consider using a ladle for serving karah parshaad and putting on gloves or using tongs when serving parshada to avoid direct contact?

I have observed sewadaars (volunteers) using their phones when they are serving. I am particularly concerned about the food that is being served that has direct contact with the bare hands. We have heard that the phone is a playground for germs; yet we accept food from the sewadaars whom we may have seen using their phones when they are serving during langgar. We take the easy way out, not wanting to be impolite and we do not tell them to wash their hands.

Today, the situation is different. We are currently experiencing a global pandemic. Should we still accept it being normal to serve using bare hands? What could the implications be if we were to continue doing this? The main reason for not touching food that is ready to eat with bare hands is to prevent viruses and bacteria from contaminating the food that could still be present even after hands are washed.

All of us who attend Gurdwara need to give this a thought as I am sure that we do not want to saunter through life from this point onward. May Guruji grant us the wisdom to do the right thing.

The author, Akashdip Singh, is a consultant based in Kuala Lumpur. He views life as a journey that has shaped his outlook to see the richness of the universe in all situations. 



Covid-19 and spectre of Fascism (Asia Samachar, 20 May 2020)

ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs / Punjabis in Southeast Asia and beyond. Facebook | WhatsApp +6017-335-1399 | Email: | Twitter | Instagram | Obituary announcements, click here |


  1. Very thoghtful and healthwise true. Sikhs are practical minded so why it had to come to this. Please do as advised by the writer, esp as Langars are saving hundreds of thousands of lives all around the world and Sikh big heartedness and generosity is getting to be acknowledged. Last thing anyone wants is source of infections emanating from the sevadaars.