‘Levensloop’ (walk for life) is a fundraiser to help people suffering from cancer. The walk started at 4 pm on Saturday and finished 24 hours later. Participants could walk or run, and the idea was that throughout the 24 hours each team would have at least one member running or walking.
Palwinder Kaur, who works in the Sint-Truiden town hall, appealed on the Sunday before to the Gurdwara sangat, which resulted in more than 50 volunteers coming forward. We wanted to support the charity but we also saw this as an excellent opportunity to show that Sikhs want to work together for the common good with our fellow human beings of whatever background.
We demonstrated that Sikhs, with and without turban, are not people who only are concerned about their own group issues.
The main ‘events’ of the ‘Levensloop’ were the opening and closing rounds, when all team members, including VIPs, took part. Seeing so many Sikhs wearing turbans walking through the park around the ‘Speelhof’ buildings was very good and we had many positive reactions from fellow participants.
Sint-Truiden is a small market town and it is blessed with some very nice parks and around it are many country lanes which are ideal for people like me who like walking and cycling. Although I have taken part in the ‘Sikhs in the City’ relay marathon, I am not a runner.
It enjoyed taking part and to notice that due to my daily cycling and walking I was in good condition. I found it easy to walk several rounds, take a little rest and start again. The response from other participants was mostly positive, but when I walked early on the Sunday morning I felt a bit uncomfortable as some of the younger walkers were not quite sober.
Apart from fundraising through walking or running we also raised money through selling parkoré. Nanak Singh, the Gurdwara cook, and his volunteers had been busy and we had enough to serve both our own people and the more adventurous Limburgers. We also offered tea and free cola. Even I drank coke, not because I like it, but because I was thirsty and there was nothing else available.
When we walked the last round the sangat started doing simran, which was wonderful.
Sikhs would do themselves an enormous favour if they were to do more seva outside the Gurdwara. The true Sikh, the true Khalsa is she or he who serves all.
Guru told us to fight against injustice, nowadays we specialise in fighting each other. Guru told us to serve all, we prefer to serve only fellow Sikhs.