The Star – Soaking in Sikh culture during heritage tour

George Town, 9 July 2017. A site excursion to the century-old Wadda Gurdwara Sahib in Jalan Gurdwara proved to be a valuable experience for 30 visitors during the George Town Heritage Celebrations 2017.

They got to witness first-hand how a Sikh wedding ceremony was carried out during the tour yesterday.

Event guide Gursimran Kaur also explained the difference between the term Punjabi, Bengali and Sikh.

“Sikh is the religion and belief while Punjabi are people from Punjab. We are often mistaken as Bengali because when our ancestors boarded the ship here, it went from Punjab to Bengal first. When they arrived in Malaysia, they were thought as from Bengal,” she said.

The visitors also checked out the prayer hall, religious classrooms and canteen [langar] before observing the wedding ceremony of Keshminder Singh, 28, and his bride Lathginia Kaur, 25. The couple said they were happy to share the occasion with the visitors.

Gursimran said all Punjabi [Sikh] men have ‘Singh’ in their names, which means lion, while the ‘Kaur’ in every woman’s name means princess.

Architecture student Kishore Palani, from India, said the tour was an eye-opener as it differed from his culture in India.

Another group of people took part in the site excursion at the Acheen Street Mosque in Jalan Lebuh Acheh.

The mosque was built in 1808 by a wealthy Arabian trader Syed Sheriff Tengku Syed Hussain Aidid of the Achenese royalty.

Mohd Noorhisham Mohd Abdul Kadir, who inherited his grandfather’s house next to the mosque, led the two-hour tour.

Turkish couple Mehmet Arikan and his girlfriend Ceyda Ceren Zaybak, both 20, said the dressing and social practices here were a good learning experience for them.

The George Town Heritage Celebrations, themed as ‘Oral Traditions and Expressions” this year, was held to commemorate the inscription of Melaka and George Town as a World Heritage Site by the Unesco on July 7, 2008.

Today, the tour will be held at the Kong Hock Keong (Goddess of Mercy Temple) at 2.30pm and Sri Mahamariamman Temple at 5pm.


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