Gravesend and Dartford Sikhs celebrate 550th anniversary of Guru Nanak's birth
PUBLISHED: 07:00 19 November 2019
It has been National Inter Faith Week and to celebrate, Kent Equality Cohesion Council helped create a major event in Gravesend.
The council worked with community and faith organisations including Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara Gravesend, Shri Guru Ravidass Gurdwara Gravesend and Gurdwara Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji Dartford, to arrange a special event at The Woodville.
It was to commemorate the 550th anniversary of the birth of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the founder of the Sikh faith.
Some 600 people were in attendance from around Kent including representatives from Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist faiths.
Highlights from the programme included talks by renowned academic Dr Opinderjit Kaur, director of the Centre for Sikh and Punjabi Studies at Wolverhampton University, plus popular artist Dilmeet Kaur who is based in Glasgow, and Gravesend based academic Rajvinder Singh Gill.
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The audience heard spiritual hymns and speeches from different faith representatives as well as an exhibition provided by the Indian High Commission which displayed in great detail and artistic creativity, the prolific life of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, his many teachings and how these teachings are still relevant to this day.
Special guests included the Mayor of Gravesham Cllr Gurdip Bungar, Deputy Lord Lieutenant Dr Bhagwara Vasudaven, Deputy Lord Lieutenant Rosemary Dymond, High Sheriff of Kent Mr Paul Barrett, leader of Gravesham Borough Council Cllr John Burden, leader of Dartford Borough Council Cllr Jeremy Kite, cabinet member for Communities Kent County Council Cllr Mike Hill, Shri D P Singh of the Indian High Commission and Assistant Chief Constable Pete Ayling from Kent Police.
Gurvinder Sandher, CEO of Kent Equality Cohesion Council, said: "I was humbled by the positive response we received from communities across Gravesham and Dartford who came out to support this important celebration.
"We were really pleased to be able to tie this event in with National Inter Faith Week and to have an inter faith element to the programme.
"Guru Nanak Dev Ji himself was a great advocate of breaking down barriers such as religion, race, social standing and striving towards a shared humanity and these beliefs resonate deeply with the themes of Inter Faith Week."