JERSEY CITY, N.J., Nov. 22, 2017 — The Sikh community of Jersey City served at least 15,000 individuals across 84 homeless shelters in the NJ/NY/PA area with hot meals, snacks and fruits this past Saturday and Sunday.
This is being done in celebration of the birth anniversary of the founder of the Sikh faith, Guru Nanak, and his establishment of the Sikh institution of Langar, the free community kitchen.
Langar can be found at all Gurdwaras, which are Sikh places of worship. The entire project was carried out under the organization “Lets Share a Meal.” Co-founder Oankar Singh said along with hot meals, a message of Love, Peace and Diversity was carried out. It took the effort of 275 people, preparing the food, packing the food and driving to 84 shelters in two days.
There are over 250 Gurdwaras in America, from Massachusetts to Hawaii. At any Gurdwara you will see that Langar is funded, cooked and distributed by the Sikh community to all. Visitors are welcome irrespective of race, color, gender, religion or social status, and are served food with dignity and respect. Langar instills the notion of equality and the brotherhood of mankind. For Sikhs, the idea of Langar is thought of as a nurturing experience, which nourishes body and soul while starving the ego.
Guru Nanak spent time visiting Hindu and Muslim places of worship in modern-day India, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran and Tibet, and, in the process, attracted a number of disciples (the word Sikh means disciple). Religion, he thought, was a bond to unite all humanity together, not to divide it apart. Guru Nanak emphasized that God may be spoken of in many ways through different faiths and in many names, but the true way to practice faith is by truthful means, which do not hurt or insult members of another faith. Guru Nanak taught the Sikhs that the love of God is the highest goal of humanity and God dwells within all living beings.
On this auspicious occasion, Bakshish Singh, President, Nanak Naam Jahaj Gurudwara, said, “Guru Nanak showed us the path of peace, harmony and righteousness. His message of Honesty, Humanity, Peace and Equality for all Mankind has timeless relevance and can help in transforming our society.” He wished Happy Holidays to people from all communities and extended invitation to people of all communities to visit a Gurudwara nearby and share a meal with the Sikh community to prosper the brotherhood across various communities.
To learn more about this initiative and vision of the organization Lets share a meal, please go to letsshareameal.org.
Rod is a blogger, writer, filmmaker, photographer, daydreamer who likes to cook. Rod produces and directs the web series, CUPIC: Diary of an Investigator. He is also the editor, producer and administrator of TNC Network.