Den Haag HS – Rotterdam Centraal – Capelle Schollevaar

Rotterdam Centraal – Capelle Schollevaar
16 July 2017

New Delft sub-surface NS rail station
Taken from moving train with interesting mirror effects

Rotterdam Centraal Station
Bay platform

Track 16 Sprinter to Uitgeest via Capelle Schollevaar

Capelle Schollevaar
Suburban rail station and bus stop

Capelle aan de IJssel Gurdwara
16 July 2017

More mirror effects !

Singh Sabha (Zuid) Holland
Stationsplein 20
2907 MJ Capelle a/d IJssel

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Man in Blue

The Times of India – Doklam standoff fails to affect services at Shanghai gurdwara

Yudhvir Rana

19 August 2017. Amritsar: The Doklam standoff between India and China has failed to affect the only gurdwara in Shanghai, which continues to hold weekly darbar and perform other religious services as usual.

“There is no war mongering or even any such hype here among the locals. Whatever we hear is largely from the Indian media,” said Satbir Singh while speaking to TOI over phone from Shanghai on Friday.

Satbir has converted a portion of his house in Shanghai into a gurdwara, where saroop of Guru Granth Sahib is installed and a weekly darbar held. Devotees comprising Sikhs and Hindu, including Sindhis, come to the gurdwara frequently. According to Satbir, there are only eight Sikh families, besides Hindu and Sindhi, in Shanghai.

The other two gurdwaras in China are at Keqiao and Yiwu in Zhejiang province.

While denying that Indo-China standoff was a topic of discussion among locals, he said the Chinese locals had very cordial relations with the Indians in Shanghai. “Many a times, some of them even accompany their Hindu, Sikh or Sindhi friends to the gurdwara and feel blessed,” he said.

Satbir’s father had worked for about 30 years in China and shifted to Shanghai from Hong Kong about 12 years ago. On an average, the weekly gurdwara darbar has a gathering of around 60 people. “There are other people who visit the gurdwara daily,” he said.

Sushil Balani, who has business ties with China, said there was more of media hype than anything on ground. “Till now, business is as usual with China. All the transactions are normal, many businessmen are still in China and none of them have returned,” he said.

ANI – Barcelona terror attack: Sikh Gurdwaras in Barcelona lend helping hand

Barcelona-Catalunya-Spain, 18 August 2017. Sikh Gurdwaras in Barcelona are lending helping hand at the time of crisis after at least 13 persons have been killed and more than 50 injured in a terrorist attack in Las Ramblas district.

A Sikh man, Harjinder Singh Kukreja from Punjab took to Twitter to inform people that Gurdwaras in Barcelona are offering help to those who are in need.

“If anyone needs shelter, food, Sikh houses of worship in the Spanish city are open for all,” Kukreja tweeted.

In his tweet, Kukreja has posted information of two Gurdwaras in Barcelona: Gurdwara Nanaksar Sahib located at 08903, Carrer Rafael Campalans, 23, 08903 L’Hospitalet de Llobregat and can be contacted at +34 666 11 25 45, while Sikh Gurudwara Gurdarshan Sahib Ji located at Carrer de l’Hospital and can be reached at +34 934 43 88 82.

Earlier, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj confirmed that there is no report of any Indian casualty in the attack. Indians, who are in an emergency, can contact the Indian embassy in Spain at +34-608769335.

“I am in constant touch with Indian Embassy in Spain. As of now, there is no report of an Indian casualty,” Swaraj tweeted.

Police in Barcelona have asked people around that region to stay indoors. They have urged those concerned about friends and family to use social media, rather than cellphone calls to avoid overloading phone networks.

Facebook also activated its safety check mechanism, allowing users near #Barcelona attack to mark themselves as safe. – SGPC accepts demands of ‘Pathi’ Singhs

Sikh24 Editors

Amritsar Sahib-Panjab-India, 10 August 2017. On August 8, the apex Sikh body Shromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee announced they would accept the demands of ‘Pathi’ (reciter of sacred texts) Singhs.

The aggrieved group had staged a protest inside the sanctum sanctorum Sri Harmandr Sahib on July 9 seeking a hike in wages and facilitation of other services like regular SGPC employees.

Interacting with media on August 8, the SGPC president Professor Kirpal Singh Badungar said that the ‘Pathis’ were a responsible and respectable class of the Sikh community and their demands have been accepted after receiving a nod from executive members.

He stated that the SGPC had appointed a sub-committee in this concern and now the SGPC has implemented the recommendations made by this sub-committee.

The Indian Express – A day in the life of Golden Temple Langar: Free for all

Around 80,000 devotees, 65 quintals of flour, 16 quintals of pulses, 14 quintals of rice, 7 quintals of ghee daily. What lies behind SGPC’s claim that GST is pinching its Rs 1,106-crore budget

Kamaldeep Singh Brar

Amritsar, 13 August 2017. It’s 5 am, and the langar at Golden Temple in Amritsar is ready to serve its first meal of the day, tea and snacks. Devotees sleeping on the premises are stirring awake and making their way to the two spartan halls at the Guru Ramdas Community Kitchen building.

The community kitchen, having taken a break for 30 minutes, from 4.30 am to 5 am, its only break in a 24X7 operation, is now ready to serve an estimated 50,000 cups of tea and biscuits or bread, over the next two and a half hours.

On a regular day, at least 50,000-80,000 eat at the kitchen, which was started by the fourth Sikh saint, Guru Ramdas, in 1577. This rises to above a lakh on weekends. The idea behind the langar, as per the Sikh faith, is for people of all castes and religions to eat together before visiting the Guru.

Since its inception, the langar at the Golden Temple has only been interrupted when the then Sikh Confederacy lost Amritsar to a host of invaders in the 18th century, and during Operation Blue Star in 1984.

These days, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), which runs the community kitchen, has more contemporary issues to contend with.

After the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax, the SGPC expects the budget to run its three prominent community kitchens, at Golden Temple, the Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib in Anandpur and the Takht Damdama Sahib Talwandi Sabo in Bathinda, to go up by Rs 10 crore.

The committee spends Rs 30 crore every year on running the langar at Golden Temple from its annual budget, which was Rs 1,106 crore in 2017-18.

“Our purchases were out of the tax system before the GST. We want this back,” says SGPC president Kirpal Singh Badungar.

Over at the langar halls, the sewadars (working in the kitchen) are catering to people sitting in rows along the floor, from a steel container that is pushed along on wheels. They open a spigot at the bottom of the container to let out the tea into steel bowls.

At the kitchen, stock-taking is on, to ensure there is enough material for the day, as cooking must begin immediately. Nearly a quarter of the material is given as offering by devotees; the rest is bought in bulk, for which Golden Temple has a manager and a team.

The material is transported to the kitchen on trolleys and mini-trucks, from trucks that halt outside the Walled City, as the lanes leading to Golden Temple are narrow. The vehicles move almost constantly.

A total of 495 SGPC employees work at the kitchen in three shifts, apart from 150 sewadars and 250 volunteers at a time. Volunteers are allowed to perform all the tasks except cooking, for which there are 13 cooks, four of whom are working today.

The menu for the day is dal, lauki (bottle-gourd), rice and kheer, along with chappatis. It changes every day and sometimes has to be changed at the last minute if a devotee offers, for example, a lot of vegetables, or for a certain dish to be served.

The first meal has to be ready by 8 am when the devotees start streaming in. “The langar is cooked in three spells. We cook in advance so as to avoid any mess,” says Bhupinder Singh, who has been a ground manager with the kitchen for 17 years.

When he first joined the Golden Temple community kitchen in 2001, Singh says, 30-35 quintals of flour would be consumed for chappatis daily. “Now we consume around 65 quintals daily.”

The kitchen also uses up around 16 quintals of pulses, 16 quintals of vegetables and 14 quintals of rice on a routine basis. Kheer takes up at least 7.50 quintals of dry milk powder in a day.

“The per day budget of running the community kitchen is around Rs 11 lakh, going up to Rs 16 lakh on weekends and special occasions. We have dal, a vegetable, rice, salad, a sweet dish and chappatis. There may be extra items on special occasions such as Gurupurab and Diwali,” Singh says.

The kitchen, spread across an acre, has three machines to make chappatis, each churning out around 4,000 an hour. Besides, women volunteers make chappatis, around 2,000 an hour. Each chappati gets a dab of desi ghee, applied with a cloth tied to a stick.

The ghee, in fact, is one of the commodities that will cost the SGPC dear after the GST, inviting a tax of 12 per cent. The Temple uses around 7 quintals daily and expects an increase of Rs 50,000 on its daily budget of Rs 4 lakh for ghee.

Wazir Singh, also a ‘ground manager’, says there is no alternative. “Desi ghee is also the identity of Punjab. It makes food more healthy and tasty.”

Bhupinder Singh says Guru Amardas, who formalised the idea of the langar, would have been happy at the diversity of those eating together at the community kitchen now. “Earlier mostly Sikhs would come. Now people come from across the world.”

Sandeep Singh Teja, a government teacher and volunteer, says the GST on the langar is unfair. “The SGPC is caught up in a lot of politics. I also condemn it. But this is not about the SGPC alone. You will find Hindus and even Muslims serving as volunteers. Such a service should be above any kind of tax,” he says.

Says Wazir Singh, “We try to make the food tasty, but it is not our cooks but God Himself who makes this food.”

A day in the life of Golden Temple Langar: Free for all

The Sacramento Bee – Slaying of Sikh gas station employee shocks community accustomed to tragedy

Laura Sussman

Sacramento, 10 August 2017. When Harfateh Singh first heard about the July 25 murder of Simranjit Singh at a south Sacramento gas station, the former president of the Sikh Cultural Association at UC Davis thought immediately of the tragedies that already have struck his community.

Closest to home was an attack from 2011, when two men from the Sikh religious minority, Surinder Singh, 65, and Gurmej Singh Atwal, 78, were gunned down while taking their afternoon stroll in Elk Grove. That apparent hate crime remains unsolved.

More recently, Subag Singh was found dead in a canal in Fresno the day before Simranjit Singh’s murder. The 68-year-old Sikh man’s death is being investigated as a homicide but as yet not a hate crime, according to the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office.

Last month’s killing of 20-year-old Simranjit Singh, who had come to the USA less than two years ago, hasn’t been linked to his ethnicity or religion, but that violence nonetheless has shocked Northern California’s enormous but tight-knit Sikh community.

“While trying to process the event, I also learned about the older Sikh gentleman who went missing in Fresno, and his body was found in a canal with trauma marks,” Harfateh Singh said.

“Maybe they were both at a wrong place at a wrong time, but what if they were not? I wondered if I will be the next headline or statistic, but I also felt a renewed determination to not stop being who I am.”

Sikh men, in particular, have had to confront more prejudice and violence in the USA, especially after the 11 September 2001, attacks, according to a book by Dawinder Singh Sidhu, a law professor at the University of New Mexico and Neha Singh Gohil, the former Western region director of the Sikh Coalition, a civil rights group.

Sikh men often are confused for Muslims because of the turban and long beard many of them wear for religious reasons. In fact, the first revenge killing in the USA after September 11 was against a Sikh man thought to be a Muslim.

More than 15 years later, Sikhs still face similar problems, even in communities such as Yuba City and Elk Grove, which are part of one of the biggest Sikh populations outside of India.

Some successful Sikhs go on to buying their own gas stations or convenience stores, which often employ more recently arrived Sikhs. Friends of Simranjit Singh said the young man had hoped to buy his own gas station after earning enough money at the station owned by his brother-in-law.

He was also taking an introductory calculus class at American River College to prepare for a possible career in computer engineering.

Singh did not experience episodes of discrimination while in the United States, said his sister, Dimpy Kaur. As for themselves, she and her husband have mostly encountered interest in their customs but “never faced any problems related to religion,” she said.

She added that she did not know whether her brother was killed because of his appearance.

Since moving to the USA in 2007, Harfateh Singh said, he has learned to use his religion to endure the discrimination he’s encountered. He remembered one incident in particular, in his third month after coming to the USA, when a stranger approached him while he was sitting in a San Jose library and asked if he was going to bomb the place.

His reaction, he said, has been to “say a prayer, take a deep breath and remember what’s good in this world.”

Singh said he also has tried to teach people locally and nationally about the Sikh religion, in the hope that through education people will stop mistreating his community.

Rajan Gill, who was born and raised in Yuba City, said Sikhs “mostly face micro-aggressions, such as snide comments or rude stares. They make you feel like the place where you live, where you were born isn’t welcoming and isn’t your home.”

Still, the community has won victories. Rajan’s father, Kash Gill, was elected Yuba City’s mayor in 2009, becoming the first Sikh to head a USA city. Kash Gill insisted that his religion did not play a role in the election. Still, he described the event as a “huge accomplishment for our entire community at large.”

Killings like that of Simranjit Singh, however, quickly dispel that feeling of safety.

The shooting occurred at about 10:30 pm 25 July as Singh and a co-worker were cleaning the Chevron gas station’s parking lot, said Sacramento County Sheriff’s Sergent Tony Turnbull. The suspects began hassling Singh’s co-worker, who went inside to call 911. The men approached Singh, and one of them shot him.

Turnbull said the shooting appears to be the result of the argument rather than a hate crime against Singh.

Two men, Rodolfo Zavala, 23, and his 15-year-old brother, Ramon Zavala, are being sought on murder charges in connection with Singh’s killing. One suspect, Alexander Lopez, 40, of Sacramento, was arrested.

Similar sad news has been a regular occurrence. A 2012 shooting at a Sikh temple [gurdwara] in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, by a white supremacist left six dead. On September 21, 2013, a Sikh professor walking in Harlem was beaten by 20 to 30 men as they screamed “Osama” and “terrorist.”

Also in 2013, an elderly Sikh man in Fresno was beaten with an iron bar in what was possibly a hate crime. In December 2015, Amrik Singh Bal, 68, was beaten and then purposely hit by a car in what Fresno police have identified as a hate crime.

A few days later, a Sikh convenience store clerk was stabbed to death in the same city. In September 2016, two men in Richmond ripped the turban off the head of Maan Singh Khalsa and cut his previously unshorn hair.

“The possibility of hate crime extremely worries me because folks like Simranjit, like me, like my relatives and friends who wear a turban and do not cut their hair or shave their beard, may have to be extra cautious,” Harfateh Singh said.

“But we should not and will not let this dampen our spirits, and we will continue to actively work with allies in combating hate and phobia of any sort.”

Laura Sussman

The Tribune – SGPC forms panel to probe non-veg served in university

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, 9 August 2017. The SGPC today constituted a four-member committee to look into the serving of non-vegetarian food in its Sri Guru Ram Das University of Health Sciences here.

Mandeep Singh Manna, former spokesperson for Congress, yesterday submitted a complaint to Akal Takht in this connection.

Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh has assured that the matter would be taken up in the next meeting of five high priests*.

The committee comprises SGPC executive members Surjit Singh Bhittewad and Harjap Singh Sultanwind, secretary Roop Singh, and additional secretary Harbhajan Singh Manawa.

Kirpal Singh Badungar, SGPC president, said the panel would submit its report to Akal Takht in 15 days.

A restaurant, “Café Green”, on the university campus was allegedly serving non-veg dishes. “The cafe is jointly owned by a SGPC member, a SAD leader and a publisher of Sikh religious books.

It is objectionable to prepare and serve non-veg food at a place owned by an SGPC member and on land belonging to the SGPC. A gurdwara is located nearby,” Manna said.

* There are no Sikh priests ! The paper should have written: the ‘five jathedars without jathas’.

Den Haag: Scheepersstraat Gurdwara – Kempstraat – Brouwersgracht

Scheepersstraat Gurdwara
13 Juli 2017

Gurdwara Singh Sabha

Divan Hall

Gurdwara Singh Sabha
Scheepersstraat 54
Den Haag

13 Juli 2017

Mevlana = Rumi

Once a church

Now a restaurant

14 Juli 2017

Tram 6 to Leidschendam Noord

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Man in Blue – India promises clearance for Sikh jathas visiting Nankana Sahib for November Gurpurab

Sikh24 Editors

Ferozepur-Panjab-India, 8 August 2017. Ending uncertainty surrounding access for pilgrimage to Gurdwara Sri Nankana Sahib in Pakistan, the President of the International Bhai Mardana Kirtan Darbar Society, Sardar Harpal Singh Bhullar has clarified that Sikh Jathas will visit the historical Sikh shrine in November, 2017 to celebrate 548th birth anniversary of the Sikh master, Guru Nanak Dev Ji.

He confirmed that the society has established contact with the Foreign Ministry in this concern and the Additional Secretary of Foreign Ministry has ensured them of granting clearance.

He said that the interested Sikh devotees can submit their passports at society’s office in Ferozepur before August 18. He further informed that the Sikh devotees will also be made to have glimpse of Gurdwara Sacha Sauda, Gurdwara Sri Panja Sahib, Gurdwara Dehra Sahib Lahore, Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib (Narowal), Gurdwara Rauri Sahib, Gurdwara Chakki Sahib, Bhai Lalo Di Khuhi at Aimnabad during the journey.

Sardar Harpal Singh Bhullar further informed that the Society has also appealed the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) and the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) to raise the quota of visas from 3000 to 4000 on birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, 1000 to 1500 from martyrdom anniversary of Guru Srjan Dev Ji and 500 to 750 on death anniversary of Mahraja Ranjit Singh.

Den Haag: Delftselaan – Scheepersstraat Gurdwara

13 Juli 2017


Sri Ravi Das Tempel

Sri Ravi Das Tempel
Delftselaan 105
2512 RC Den Haag

Scheepersstraat Gurdwara
13 Juli 2017

Nishan Sahib

Gurdwara Singh Sabha Den Haag

Gurdwara Singh Sabha
Scheepersstraat 54
2572 AL Den Haag

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Man in Blue