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Celebrations as Pakistan Welcomes Indian Sikhs for Guru Nanak’s Birthday

August 10, 2023

An Indian farmer in his 70s says, “I never believed we would have this sort of love from our Pakistani brethren.

On Friday, hundreds of Sikhs from India arrived in Pakistan for one of the greatest birthday celebrations in history: Guru Nanak’s 552nd birthday. The air was filled with the aroma of flowers and perfume.

The celebrations were occurring at the Sikh religion’s founding temple at Nankana Sahib, the city where he was born in 1469.

Due to coronavirus limitations in 2020, worshippers from India were unable to cross the border, which has increased the sentiment this year.

Indian farmer Darshan Singh, 70, told AFP, “I have goosebumps; I can’t even put into words how I’m feeling.”

He stated, “I never imagined we would receive this kind of love from our Pakistani brethren. They are stepping up to greet us with open arms and pure hearts despite the fact that these mothers are not Sikh and these kids have no knowledge of our faith.

Visitors from the Sikh faith gather in Nankana Sahib on Friday for a ceremony honouring Baba Guru Nanak Dev’s birth anniversary. — AP

Boys from the Sikh community who are dressed traditionally attend a religious service in Nankana Sahib to commemorate Baba Guru Nanak Dev’s birth anniversary. — AP

Friday’s ceremony at Nankana Sahib to commemorate the birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak Dev features rituals performed by a Sikh woman. — AP

Others were also caught up in the uncommon feeling of cross-border harmony between Pakistanis and Indians.

A 24-year-old Delhi resident named Annie Munjal claimed her grandparents frequently told her tales of life in Lahore prior to Partition.

She stated, “We had heard about Pakistan from them, but we never got to see. Now that we are here, they resemble us completely.

More than 12,000 people are celebrating in the gurdwara, and the joy is contagious.

The city’s curious Muslim citizens observe from their rooftops and throw rose petals and chocolates at the Sikh processions. Young Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs dance to the beat of the dhol at the main gates.

On November 19, Sikh believers in Nankana Sahib participated in a ceremonial procession honouring Guru Nanak Dev’s birth anniversary. — AFP

On November 19, Sikh pilgrims participate in a devotional parade in honour of Guru Nanak Dev’s birthday in Nankana Sahib. — AFP

During a religious parade in Nankana Sahib, Sikh pilgrims assemble around a bus transporting the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of the Sikhs. — AFP

On the roadways leading to the temple, welcome signs and tight security alternate. Before a large feast of rice, naan, chickpeas, and sweets, the devotees, many of whom are barefoot, wave saffron flags while reciting poems and hymns.

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