The Sikh community of Mangalore

December 8, 2009 at 12:10 AM Leave a comment

The Sikh community contributes as one of the most vibrant and culturally diverse communities of Mangalore. In the early 1980’s, the people from Sikh community started visiting Mangalore mainly for trade and commerce. Later in the1990’s this community formally started residing in Mangalore due to growing business and employment opportunity.

Today the Sikh community in Mangalore is represented by 25 families who hail from various parts of country like Punjab, Mumbai, Haryana, New Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and other parts of India. Over the years the community has proactively merged with the Mangalorean way of life and has contributed tremendously to its rich traditions of growth and development.

Couple of year’s back the Sikh families from different parts of Mangalore came together and organized themselves into a community group and rented out a place in Mannagudda, Mangalore for a Gurdwara. Apart from prayer session this place also hosts several common gathering of the community members. The Priest of Gurudhwara in Mangalore is Granthi (Gyaani) Shyam Singh Ji.

The daily schedule of Gurudwara begins at 5.00am (Prakash); the morning session is called Nithnem. Nit-Nem is actually a compound word. ‘Nit’ means daily or always. ‘Nem’ is the short form of ‘Nieam’ meaning rule or practice.’Nitnem’ thus means ‘daily practice’ and has been prescribed in the Sikh Reht Maryada, the Sikh Code of Conduct.

It is also very relevant to mention here that the community meets on every Sunday at the Gurudwara sahib to worship “Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji”, the holy book of Sikhs, reciting verses from it; described as follows:

Japji Sahib – 9.30 am to 10.00AM

Sukhmani Sahib – 10 am

Shabad kirtan after 10.am

Thereafter Guru Ka langar , which is a common kitchen for all, where food (Langar) is served.

A person belonging to any caste or religion is welcome to Gurudwara to pray. A head scarf is worn by those who do not wear a turban (pag or pagri) before entering into the Gurudwara. It is both a moral and religious obligation for the devotee while entering the temple, this is worn to show reverence to Guru Granth sahib.

The concept God in the Sikh community is “Nirankar” i.e. the god has no form and also god is one i.e. ‘ek om akar’

The devotees can also participate in kirthan session which is accompanied by several instruments like tabla, harmonium, Dholki. 

All the devotees manage the affairs of the Gurdwara .They also share their responsibility as volunteers for assistance especially during Kirthan and Langar. 

The session in the evening includes;

Rehras

Aarthi

Ardas

Hukumnaama

The final ritual for the day will be Maharaj Sukhasan; this is where the Guru Granth Sahib is requested to take rest for the day. 

The festivals of Sikhs celebrated in Mangalore include Lohri, Baisakhi, and Gurunanak Jayanthi. 

In general people wearing a “Pagri” or “Pag” are referred as Punjabi’s. However the term Punjabi actually signifies the regional belongingness of any person from Punjab just like identity of the people of different states.  

At present the Gurudwara committee of Mangalore is working towards the construction of a permanent Gurudwara near Kottara Chowki, Mangalore. The land has been bought and construction would start next year.

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