Sikhs celebrate annual Shaheedi Smagam at Scott Road temple

Hundreds of devotees packed Surrey's Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara for its annual Shaheedi Smagam honouring victims of the 1984 Sihk genocide.

Children at Surrey's Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara performing a traditional kirtan

As many of the children in North Delta were putting on their costumes to go trick-or-treating this Halloween, the Sikh members of the community were preparing for a very different celebration.

On Oct. 31, hundreds of devotees packed the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara (7050 120 St., Surrey) to mark the martyrdom of Sardar Beant Singh and Sardar Satwant Singh, who Sikhs remember as heroes who lost their lives for the community, holding prayers in their honour and paying tribute to those who lost their lives in the 1984 Sikh genocide.

Temple management and volunteers made elaborate preparations for the Shaheedi Smagam.

The program began with a harmonious kirtan (devotional singing) by the young children trained at the Gurdwara, mesmerizing the attendees.

“Programs like this are particularly designed for the young children to make them conversant of their rich heritage and culture,” said Rupinder Kaur, one of the program volunteers. “It is also a platform for the community to come together and intermingle for the welfare of the society as a whole.”

As the celebrations continued, the children in attendance participated in an interactive quiz about Sikh history, with prizes distributed to the winners. Festival organizers also instructed them in the importance of conflict resolution and reporting bullying in school to their teachers, as well as the value of hard work.

“When the children come together at public platforms like this and listen to inspiring stories, it is far more inspirational for them rather than teaching them the do’s and don’ts at home,” said the parents of four-year-old Pram.

It wasn’t all quizzes and lectures, however. The kids also enjoyed face and hand painting, queuing up in huge numbers for their turn, before grabbing sumptuous snacks like French fries, pasta and, of course, bags of candy.

“I make a lot of new friends at community gatherings like this and then we share our talents with each other. It certainly helps us to grow,” said 14-year-old Bhav, who spent part of the day reading motivational stories to a group of friends.

The attendees later congregated in the community kitchen for a mouthwatering dinner of Indian delights.

Just Posted

City contractors demolish Memorial Park washrooms

Facility expected to be complete by January

UPDATE: Missing Delta man’s body found in Alice Lake

Alice Lake closed until further notice, campground remains open

South Surrey girls find sweet success

Strong-willed friends impress judges at cooking competition

Wake Up Surrey tackling gang violence with three summer programs

Group also plans unveil ‘one year action plan’ at City Hall today

Eight arrested in Surrey following fraud investigation by RCMP

Police probe focused on residence in the 18900-block of 64th Avenue

VIDEO: B.C.’s ‘unicycle cowboy’ aspires to be rancher one day

Burklan Johnson has only ridden a horse once, but this unicyclist has big plans to become a cowboy.

Fireworks and fires over a half-metre banned Friday in Kamloops centre

B.C. Wildfire Service banning to category 2 and 3 fires in Kamloops Fire Centre at noon Friday

Rescued Oregon family simply unprepared for adventure, RCMP say

Agencies now helping the group of four get to their destination in Alaska

Large B.C. tree dies after possible poisoning

Police and District investigate after large chestnut tree’s rapid decline

Canucks release 2018-19 season schedule

Vancouver to face Calgary Flames on Wednesday, Oct. 3, for home opener

VIDEO: Luxury Home and Design Show opens with Italian flare

Event set to run Friday to Sunday at BC Place in Vancouver

Small new charge on BC Hydro bills goes toward new crisis fund

The new fund aims to help customers who find themselves in financial emergencies

UPDATED: Crown appeals B.C. polygamous leader’s acquittal in child bride case

James Oler had been charged with taking his underage daughter to the U.S. to marry her off

South of the Fraser condo flipping increased as market heated up

Local realtors say investors were re-selling through assignment sales, but the trend may reverse.

Most Read