On Tuesday 26th June Year 4 visited the Siri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara in Wilbury Way Hitchin. This trip gave us the opportunity to learn more about what happens in a Gurdwara, a Sikh place of worship. As well as that we were able to see for ourselves how the sacred Sikh text, the Guru Granth Sahib, is handled and used, also we participated in our own Langar. During the morning our volunteer guide showed us a very informative presentation all about the Sikh faith, we learnt a great deal including about baptisms in the Sikh faith and the Golden Temple in Amritsar.

After the discussion had finished, which everyone listened to very intently, we were then taken into the dining hall to share in a Langar. This was a new experience for all of us, Langar means shared food and this happens after the Gurdwara service. Everyone gathers together to share food that has been prepared in the kitchen, all those who take part eat together to show that everyone is equal. The food is purchased using the contributions that are given however a lot of people will bring food such as fresh vegetables to share with everyone. The food that we were very kindly given to enjoy was a piece of white bread rolled in grain flour and sugar and then lightly fried in sunflower oil.

Finally, we then went back into the main prayer hall to take a closer look at the Guru Granth Sahib and to listen to some music. As we sat down a member of the Gurdwara community began playing a Sikh instrument called a Sarangi. As you can see from the photograph it looks like a very complex guitar but is played using a bow. It makes the most beautiful sound, very soothing and spiritual, this instrument is usually played to accompany hymns that are sung from the Guru Granth Sahib. After the musical performance had finished we then walked around the Guru Granth Sahib which had been opened for us to look at. This holy text is written in Punjabi and contains hymns which are read out after the prayers, the book is opened at a random page and is meant to be the lesson for that day. The text was beautifully written and you could see from the way it is looked after and handled just how important it is, in fact it is seen by Sikhs as a living Guru.

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