Glimpse Into Guelph’s Sikh Temple

February 22, 2010

Author: Joanne Shuttleworth

Source: The Guelph Mercury

To Christians, the service of worship at the Sikh temple on Stevenson Street could seem a mystery. All the speaking, after all, is in Punjabi, the hymns are more like chants than lyrical songs, and everyone’s head must be covered, either by a veil, a turban or a head scarf provided for those who don’t have their own.

But its pillars are very much like the pillars of Christianity and the message of welcome is well understood, even if the language isn’t.

“It’s about sacrifice, education and brotherhood,” Dr. Ravi Rai, vice president of the Sikh Society of Guelph, said as he guided me through Sunday morning service, “and we’re open to everyone. All we ask is that you show respect, take your shoes off, wash your hands, cover your head, and enjoy the company.”

In light of opposition to a proposed new and larger temple in Guelph’s south end, the Sikh Society was only too happy to let the Mercury see what goes on inside its sacred space.