Yr-long fes­tiv­i­ties kick off in US

Hindustan Times (Amritsar) - - Punjab - Press Trust of In­dia let­ter­[email protected]­dus­tan­times.com

WASH­ING­TON: Year-long cel­e­bra­tions of Guru Nanak’s 550th birth an­niver­sary has kicked off in the US to spread his mes­sage of brother­hood and shar­ing.

The In­dian em­bassy and con­sulates have chalked out a cal­en­dar of ac­tiv­i­ties, in­clud­ing mu­si­cal con­certs, sem­i­nars and in­ter­faith events through­out the year, In­dia’s new am­bas­sador Harsh V Shringla said. 2019 marks the 550th birth an­niver­sary year of Guru Nanak, the first master of the Sikhs.

Shringla was ad­dress­ing peo­ple gath­ered to cel­e­brate the oc­ca­sion with colour­ful events where artist Bhai Baldeep Singh played de­vo­tional mu­sic on Satur­day.

“Guru Nanak Dev ji was one of In­dia’s great­est philoso­phers, teach­ers and social re­form­ers. Born in an epoch when the In­dian so­ci­ety was caste-rid­dled, Guru Nanak’s voice was an em­pow­er­ing call to un­shackle the hu­man mind of cen­turies of re­li­gious and po­lit­i­cal tyranny and for the cre­ation of a new egal­i­tar­ian or­der,” Shringla told the gath­er­ing.

The In­dian gov­ern­ment, he said, is plan­ning cel­e­bra­tions in var­i­ous coun­tries around the world. “In the US, the em­bassy has reached out to gur­d­waras and Sikh com­mu­nity lead­ers to dis­cuss ideas with them,” he said at the first of the series of year-long events in the US, be­ing or­gan­ised by the In­dian em­bassy here in as­so­ci­a­tion with var­i­ous Sikh groups and gur­d­waras.

Ob­serv­ing that the en­thu­si­asm and sup­port of the lo­cal Sikh or­gan­i­sa­tions and gur­d­waras have in­deed been heart­en­ing, the am­bas­sador said the In­dian em­bassy with their co­op­er­a­tion have set up a task force to co­or­di­nate the plan­ning of dif­fer­ent events.

The planned events in­clude sem­i­nars on the phi­los­o­phy and teach­ings of Guru Nanak in pres­ti­gious venues; mu­si­cal con­certs dur­ing the year at dif­fer­ent venues; and in­ter­faith events to get the mes­sage of Guru Nanak to the wider Amer­i­can so­ci­ety, Shringla said.

“We are joined by our five Con­sulates in Hous­ton, New York, San Francisco, Chicago and At­lanta which will sim­i­larly part­ner with the gur­d­waras and Sikh com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tions in their re­gions to chalk out a cal­en­dar of ac­tiv­i­ties through­out the year,” he said.

The ethos of Sikhism — hard work, sim­ple and hon­est life, com­pas­sion for fel­low hu­man be­ings — have formed the suc­cess of the Sikh com­mu­nity across the globe, he said.

TWIT­TER

In­dia’s am­bas­sador to the US Harsh V Shringla (green cap) at the launch of year-long events to cel­e­brate the 550th birth an­niver­sary of Guru Nanak, in North Bethesda, Mary­land, US.

IN GURU’S MEM­ORY

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