Malaysians impressed with Naam Ras

Numbers attending Singapore's largest kirtan festival dropped slightly probably due to the currency exchange

| Singapore | 26 Dec 2016 | Asia Samachar |
Some of the Malaysians attending Naam Ras 2016. In the photo are Srg-Major Jagdave Singh (standing, left) and Balwinder Kaur (second from right) – Photo Asia Samachar

The large Malaysian delegation at Naam Ras, Singapore’s largest biennial Sikh festival, is thoroughly impressed with the event.

“It’s very well organised,” said first time participant Balwinder Kaur who hails from Selayang, a town just on outskirts of Kuala Lumpur.

“I’ve heard quite a lot about the event. I love the kirtan and the lively feeling when they bring and send-off the Guru Maharaj sewari,” she tells Asia Samachar.

Balwinder was one of the estimated 500 Malaysian Sikhs attending the four-day Naam Ras 2016 which ends today.

She took one of six chartered buses  from Petaling Jaya, Sentul and Titiwangsa in Kuala Lumpur, and Ipoh in Perak.

Many families from across the causeway take the opportunity to participate in the kirtan-katha festival while tucking in some sightseeing.

For Srgt-Major Jagdev Singh, 55, this is his second Naam Ras after 2010. His wife Jaswind Kaur has been attending consistently since 2010.

“It’s two in one. We can enjoy the programme and visit Singapore. This time around, we visited the gurdwaras.

“I plan to come for the next one in 2018. We will probably plan something more elaborate, maybe even invite kids along,” he tells Asia Samachar.

Most participants spoken to were full of praise of the way the event was organised.

However, the number of participants from Malaysia dropped compared to the earlier years.

“This year, the numbers dropped, probably due to the currency exchange. The hotel cost has gone up,” said Awtar Singh who led the two busses from Petaling Jaya.

“In 2014, we had 10 busses from Malaysia.”

Awtar, who is the present committee secretary of Gurdwara Sahib Petaling Jaya, has been attending Naam Ras since its began in 2002.

Naam Ras brings to the stage popular kirtan groups and speakers.

Some 20,000 are expected to attend the festival which runs from 5.30pm to 10pm each day at the Singapore Expo. They include from Thailand and Indonesia.

[ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs in Southeast Asia and surrounding countries. We have a Facebook page, do give it a LIKE. Follow us on Twitter. Visit our website:]


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