The 14th of April is an important day in Sikhism, a day to celebrate the birth of Khalsa (the pure).
In April 1699 the 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji tested the commitment of thousands of Sikhs. The first five to pass his test, were initiated into a new order, called the Khalsa. These five men came to be known as the Panj Pyare (five beloved).
Khalsa (pure) is the collective body of committed initiated Sikhs. The Khalsa represent the living form of the Guru – and therefore are God’s representatives – on earth.
Sikhs are initiated into the Khalsa through the Amrit Sanchar (Pure communication) ceremony , which is why Khalsa Sikhs are referred to as Amritdhari (Baptized). The Khalsa were created to fight oppression, uphold freedom and basics needs (food, clothing, health and education) for all people.
Usually Sikhs celebrate Vaisakhi through a Nagar Kirtan, (Town hymn singing), a procession through their local town led by five initiated Sikhs (Panj Pyare). Guru Granth Sahib Ji, the Sikh scriptural Guru, is on a float as the main focus of the procession. Gurbani (Hymns) is sung, langar (free food) is served. Many must have seen this procession in Edmonton.
In Fort Mcmurray Sikh families celebrate this day by donating to different organizations.
“The revolution which took place in 1699 is timeless! Khalsa ideology is based 100% on humanity without prejudice. Recognize the human race as one.”
Ravi Singh, CEO of Khalsa Aid.
About the author
Inderjit Cheema, a resident of Fort McMurray for almost 20 years, is a mother of three and a grandmother to two beautiful grandsons. She was born and brought up in Chandigarh, India.
When Human beings experience trauma or life stressors, it is not uncommon for their lives to unravel. Inderjit volunteered with YMCA immigrant settlement services for a few years. She noticed the struggles immigrants went through. Inderjit lost her house and everything in it in the 2016 fires. She noticed the struggles of immigrants, single mothers, language, and racial barriers. Her great passion is to bring healing to people who have been through battles of life/ stressful experiences. Her fluency in English, Punjabi, Hindi, and Kiswahili, combined with interpersonal and listening skills, has influenced her to be an active translator and interpreter. She is optimistic with an unwavering dedication to raising consciousness and awareness about interpersonal differences. She thinks it is not about taking selfies to post on Facebook, TikTok, or Instagram. It is about being aware, learning, educating, committed and accountable.