By: Agamjot Kukreja
On December 6th, 2020, the New England Sikh Study Circle (NESSC) Khalsa School and Nishkam TV worked together to present the virtual Gurpurab Diwan of Guru Nanak Dev Ji – the celebration of the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Guru Nanak Dev Ji, also known as Nanak in his childhood, was born on 15 April 1469. He was the founder of Sikhism and is the first of the ten Sikh Gurus. His birth is celebrated worldwide as Guru Nanak Gurpurab on Katak Pooranmashi (‘full-moon of the Katak’), i.e. October–November every year.
The NESSC Khalsa school kids celebrated the Gurpurab with much enthusiasm and vigor by reciting Paath, Shabads and by giving presentations on Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s teachings. The program started with one of the solo performances by Kiren Kaur Bagga who talked about Guru Nanak Dev ji and his teachings and also introduced the pre-K class. The Pre-K class recited the poem ‘Ek Chota Baccha’ (a small kid). The Kindergarten Gurmukhi class shared the posters of Ek Onkar, which means “There is only one God”. This also symbolizes the importance of the belief in the Oneness of God and the Oneness of Humanity (the belief that everyone is equal). As the Kindergarten kids shared the Ek Onkar poster they all recited Mool Mantar. The Mool Mantar is the Sikh statement of Belief. It is the basis of the whole of Sikhism and contains the key beliefs about Waheguru. It is taught to all young Sikh children.
The virtual program continued with Danveer Singh Nijjar, TA for the NESSC Khalsa School introducing the Gurmukhi classes. This level 1 Gurmukhi class recited poems on Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Level 2 Gurmukhi class talked about Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s teachings: – Kirat Karni (Earn honest livelihood), Naam Japna (Do meditation), Vand Chhakna (Share with others). Next, the level 7 Gurmukhi class recited poems on Guru Nanak Dev ji written by Tara Singh. Level 8 Gurmukhi class talked about Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s life, Shabad and explanations of the Shabads.
The next group was the Sikh History classes . The Sikh history Level 1 class was introduced by Priyal Kaur Anand who is also a TA in NESSC Khalsa School. The level 1 class gave a speech on Guru Nanak Dev ji’s life. Next up, the Level 3 Sikh History class gave a presentation on Guru Ji’s life by showing hand-made posters. After this Sumeet Singh Nijjar, NESSC Youth Representative gave information about Westborough Gurdwara, the covid protocols being followed when the sangat members visit Gurdwara . He also requested the sangat to donate the funds for Westborough food pantry and also for the Gurdwara’s monthly expenses. The program continued with kids from multiple Kirtan classes reciting soulful Shabads to celebrate the Gurpurab.
Similar to the Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s Gurpurab, Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s Gurpurab was also celebrated virtually on January 24th, 2021. Although virtual, there was no stone left unturned by NESSC Khalsa School kids and Sangat to celebrate this Gurpurab with great vigor and devotion. The program was kicked off by Raunaq Singh, TA for NESSC Khalsa School who shed light on the magnificence and benevolence of Guru Gobind Singh Ji and his life and importance on the entire Sikh Panth. The Diwan was led by little Singhs and Kaurs who took us on a journey of Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s life. Harleen Kaur (TA) then introduced us to the mid-level kids who graced us with Poems on Guru Gobind Singh Ji. This was followed by Harman Singh presenting the Sikh history class students who also gave us several facts related to Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Sikh History Level 5 students also walked us through the sequences related to Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s life and relations.
In the next segment, Navneet Kaur (Teacher of Kirtan) beautifully explained the meaning of Kirtan. Her class students recited Guru Gobind Singh ji’s Shabad, ” Re Mann Aiso Kar Sanyaasa”. Afterwards, Harvinder Singh (Teacher of Sikh History) talked about a very important aspect that was a significant part of Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s teachings – Social Activism. His class students then presented the most prevalent form of social activism today – The Farmer’s protest 2020. The students also drew similarities with Black Lives Matter and how systematic racism has impacted the Black communities in the U.S.
Both the programs continued with kids from multiple Kirtan classes reciting soulful shabads to celebrate the Gurpurabs. Lastly, the students recited Chaupai Sahib and explained the meaning of Ardaas to everyone.
The programs concluded with Sarabjit Kaur Kapoor, the NESSC joint secretary, and Amandeep Singh, NESSC Secretary, offering the closing words by thanking Nishkam TV, NESSC Khalsa school, and also mentioned the days the Sangat can come and visit the Gurdwara. They encouraged the Sangat to recite the path and requested the Sangat members to donate the funds for the Gurdwara.