The Sikh Awareness Event is like a tonic. You can be feeling down due to watching your favourite football team get beaten and then, like magic, the event’s buzz envelops you and you are all in happiness and joy. Well at least, this was the case for me.
When we first arrived at the Gurdwara Sahib Tanjung Rambutan at 10am, we were rather disappointed with the number of people there. After an hour, the gloom lifted immediately once we saw the familiar faces of friends impatiently walking towards us with smiles on their faces. We were encompassed by the atmosphere of buzzing excitement in anticipation of the coming hours.
We were all busy packing “kheer (sweet rice porridge) and cha (tea)” into tupperware and arranging them into their specific boxes. Where the girls and women were busy packing, the boys helped with the loading of the boxes into cars. Everyone was in a jolly mood; laughter filled the air.
Then we all headed towards the orphanage in Tambun. On arrival, the kids were very excited to see us. We started off with a small introduction of ourselves. We then played football with the kids, and had a chat with them. We also managed to take pictures with them. During teatime, we gave them “kheer n cha” which they loved. We also told them what Vasakhi was all about.
At 3.30pm, the group headed towards Lost World of Tambun. Upon arrival, the girls started unpacking the boxes while the boys set up the tent and had a short brief on our responsibilities and other necessary information. Immediately, the group spread out and started serving “kheer and cha” to everyone.
Not forgetting the Dholis (drummers) who played a big role in alerting and entertaining the public with nonstop beats. They caught everyone’s attention. We also had photo sessions with the general public besides explaining to them what Vasakhi was all about, gave them cards and handed out pamphlets. Most of them enjoyed the “kheer n cha”, though most of them had never had kheer and it was something which was very new to them. In addition, the public also got to know that we as Punjabis celebrate Vasakhi.
About 600 cups of “kheer n cha” were given out. We had very good response because in the end we managed to distribute all the “kheer and cha” we brought. We started packing and cleaning up ready to head home at about 6pm.
The main purpose in organising this event was to let the public know that Vasakhi is celebrated by Sikhs on April 14 every year. This day marks the birth of the Khalsa (baptised Sikhs, with an unique identity and discipline), in the year 1699. From that moment on, Sikhs were gifted with names Singh and Kaur by our 10th Guru, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji.
In a nutshell, the event was a success and we hope to organise a similar event next year.