Monday, 16 April 2007

Sikh temple Vaisakhi celebrations

To the beat of the drummer...

...the Vaisakhi procession takes its first steps

On the south east boundary of Lenton Recreation Ground is our local Sikh Temple and yesterday (Sunday) it was the starting point for the annual Vaisakhi celebration which marks the founding of Sikhism. The high point is a procession which begins here and ends at the Sikh Temple in Old Basford after visiting other Sikh temples in Nottingham. It is a very colourful event, with sword dancers, flag bearers and floats. The procession is led by a drummer and Sikh elders, with members of the Sikh community following behind, many, like the elders, have bare feet.

At mid-day we walked through the park and out the south entrance, where people were just beginning to gather. An hour later it was almost impossible to move for the throng. The day was hot and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. The music and the bright colours of the clothes created a wonderful atmosphere, almost intoxicating.

It is events like this which help to make Lenton and the park special. It's a heady mix of history (the Sikh Temple is housed in Lenton's first free school built in 1841) and internationalism, with people from all around the world coming to live in Lenton. I suspect most of us got here by chance, but I love the fact that the parish church and the Sikh Temple stand opposite one another on Church Street, beside our park. Only a week or so ago it was the Christians marking Good Friday in the park and now, just outside, it was the turn of the Sikhs. To live in a place where this is possible is to be blessed.

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3 comments:

Rosie said...

What a spectacular event this must have been; the colours and sounds would have been so vibrant on such a glorious day. You are indeed blessed to have all these wonderful things on your doorstep. I do worry about the Sikhs with bare feet though - such a long way to walk for them on the city streets. I hope there were no injuries.

Robert said...

Rosie

Some good news about those bare feet. I should have said that between the drummer and the Sikh elders there were sweepers with house brooms. I assume it was their job to remove all the loose stones and chippings from the path of the elders and all those who followed.

Anonymous said...

Very good article and pictures of the celebration of the birth of Sikhism. It makes me proud being a Sikh and hearing such nice comments about the celebration. It just goes to show that everyone can celebrate their religion and live in harmony bedside other religions and faiths