Sikhs in British Army mark Holla Mahalla with shooting completion, colourful display

Organised by the UK Defence Sikh Network, the event showcased a military shooting completion, traditional Sikh martial arts, traditional Sikh military games like the tug of war and rang (a coloured powder also used in the Hindu festival Holi).

0
662
Sikh in British Army taking part in Holla Mahalla – Photo: BFBS Aldershot

By Asia Samachar | Britain |

Sikhs serving in the British armed forces celebrated the Holla Mahalla, a traditional Sikh festival, with colour and competition in Aldershot, Hampshire.

Organised by the UK Defence Sikh Network, the event showcased a military shooting completion, traditional Sikh martial arts, traditional Sikh military games like the tug of war and rang (a coloured powder also used in the Hindu festival Holi).

Holla Mahalla is a martial arts festival typically celebrated each March the day after Holi.

Sikhs have served in the British Army since the 1800s. More than 84,000 died and 100,000 were injured during the First World War.

In 2019 there were 130 Sikhs serving in the Army and another 70 across defence, according to the Royal Logistic Corps.

The military festival was looking to encourage more Sikhs to join and improve their experience in the British Armed Forces.

Major Deljindr Singh Virdee, Royal Army Medical Corps, told Forces News it made “perfect sense” that Sikh personnel marked the festival.

Captain Brijinder Nijjar, an Apache Pilot with 653 Squadron, told Forces News the number of Sikhs in the British Army does not reflect their presence in society.

“Clearly there are many more Sikhs in the UK who could be doing what we’re doing today,” he said. “I guess it’s just a case of knowledge. We don’t have those family links that we might have had in the past where an uncle, a brother, a cousin, was part of the Armed Forces.

“So, it’s just about re-establishing that link, reaching out to the community… and hopefully drawing some more attention to us.”

RELATED STORY:

Sikh pilot breaks new ground in US Air Force (Asia Samachar, 19 Aug 2023)

ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs / Punjabis in Southeast Asia and beyond. You can leave your comments at our website, FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. We will delete comments we deem offensive or potentially libelous. You can reach us via WhatsApp +6017-335-1399 or email: asia.samachar@gmail.com. For obituary announcements, click here

NO COMMENTS