Indonesian Sikh youth camp makes a comeback

500 Sikhs at six-day Sikh camp organised by Sikh Naujawan Sabha Indonesia (SNSI) in Jakarta


More than 500 Sikhs took part in a recent six-day Sikh camp organised by the Sikh Naujawan Sabha Indonesia (SNSI) in Jakarta.

The Gurmat Parchar Samelan 2018 was held from 17-22 June 2018 at Taman Wiladatika, Cibubur in Jakarta, Indonesia.

This year, the six-day, five-night event brought together a total of more than 500 participants, which included children and youth, aged 5 to 21 and also their parents, coming together as a community and family.

It drew participants and volunteers, both Sikh and non-Sikh, from all parts of Indonesia such as Jakarta, Medan, Surabaya, Batam, Bali, Madiun etc as well as from Singapore, Malaysia, UK and the region.

SEE ALSO: Lighthouses of Indonesia

The Annual Gurmat Parchar Samelan (Sikh Camp), which had become the flagship event of the SNSI, was a special one this year as it marked the comeback of the annual event after a 8 year hiatus. The event was opened in great style featuring a melodious choir, a parade and dholis — all from Indonesia — and a professional gatka team from India.

‘Ek Pita Ekas ke Ham Baarak’ (We are all children of the one Father, our God, our Guru) was the theme of the recently concluded Samelan in Jakarta.

However, sometimes we dwell on the “differences” which divide us. By instilling the values of sharing, leadership, harmony, selfless service and compassion, participants experienced the togetherness that ought to be.

Throughout the samelan, the youth attended various inspiration sessions (IPS), workshops, talks as well as participated in discussions and presentations, giving them a deeper understanding of this concept and other Sikhi values.

Special guests from the Sikh Naujawan Sabha Malaysia (SNSM) and Basics of Sikhi UK were also present to support the camp in educating and guiding the Indonesian sanggat throughout the programme.

There was also a special talk from a representative from the Narcotics Bureau, Badan Narkotika Nasional (BNN), who educated participants on the dangers of drugs and how Sikhi also prohibits this.

Daily gatka classes, conducted by the gatka team, allowed participants, sewadars and visitors to try their hands at the Sikh martial art. Some even showcased their newly acquired skills on the last night, where the ladies and kids did a gatka performance!

A daily parents sessions featuring talks specially dedicated to the Sikh parents and adults also ensured the adults learnt something from the Samelan.

As per Samelan tradition, the Samelan concluded with a Khandey-Da-Pahul (Amrit Sanchar) ceremony with a record number of participants.

“We believe in investing our time and effort in the youth and children, as they will be the leaders of our community tomorrow,” said one of the organisers. “This can’t be done without the strong support of the entire community, which we are very fortunate to have. It’s these events which bring us together.”

“A deeper Sikhi understanding, life-long friendships and memories are what we hope they have taken away from this Samelan.”

SNSI is the body for Sikh youth in Indonesia. The non-profit organisation was set up 2000 and has been running on a purely volunteer basis for the past 18 years.

SNSI conducts various activities such as youth camps, samelans, excursions, games and sports to achieve their objective of promoting culture, understanding and philosophy of the Sikh way of life and also to create and foster leadership and responsible citizenship values amongst the Indonesian Sikhs.

Through their resource arm, they also hope to constantly engage and enlighten the Indonesian Sikh diaspora.



Introducing the Sikh Factor at Malaysian youth camp (Asia Samachar, 18 Dec 2017)

Lighthouses of Indonesia (Asia Samachar, 17 Oct 2017)

Malaysian Sikhs power Gurmat camps abroad (Asia Samachar, 28 July 2015)


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