Keeping Religion And Culture Alive

January 13, 2009

Author: Tan Ju-Eng

Source: The Star

The Sikhs in Malaysia are a very small and homogenous community. Other communities associate them with their turbans, their sharp features, colourful costumes and delicious chapattis. The Star’s Online TV channel Switch Up spent time with them to find out how they have managed to preserve their culture and religion for so many generations.

Every year there is a special gathering that most young Sikhs look forward to attending. Little is known about the Sikh Samelan, outside of this community but it is a significant event as it helps to propagate Sikhism in this country.

Last month, 1,200 Punjabis of all ages spent a week at a Sikh Samelan held in a school in Rembau, Negri Sembilan. to reinforce the teachings of the Gurus and the prescribed way of life.

It was also a time for fellowship between local Sikhs and foreign participants who attended the camp. Most of them have attended the annual Samelan a number of times.

Sikh Naujawan Sabha Malaysia, a sikh youth organisation, organised this event with the help of 300 volunteers and some parents of the participants. Although it was basically a youth camp, babies, toddlers and grandparents were also present.

“The purpose of this camp is for the youth to learn more about Sikhism, to renew their faith in the teaching of Sri Guru Granth Sabji, and how to be a better human being,’’ said camp coordinator Inderjeet Singh, 39, who has been attending the camps since he was two years old.