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

Second annual Delta Pride Picnic to highlight LGBTQ+ inclusion

This year’s event is slated for Saturday, Aug. 31 at Memorial Park in Ladner

Securing Olympic spot the latest test for Canadian softball squad at Surrey tournament

Softball hasn’t been included in the Games since 2008 when Canada finished fourth in Beijing

UPDATE: Two men injured in north Surrey shooting

Police say the incident was targeted, may be linked to drug activity

City Dream Centres hands out 1,000 backpacks at back to school event in Surrey

This is the fifth year the charity is hosting the event in the city

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. Lions fall to 1-9 after 13-10 loss to Ticats

Lowly Leos have dropped six straight CFL contests

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Border crossings across Lower Mainland seeing lengthy delays

Sumas, Peace Arch and Surrey-Blaine border crossings seeing long wait times

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Most Read