Moninder Singh Buar says many Sikhs view Vaisakhi as a time to make resolutions for a better life such as performing more seva

Moninder Singh Buar says many Sikhs view Vaisakhi as a time to make resolutions for a better life such as performing more seva

Kicking off a new year

Many Sikhs use the celebration to make resolutions on how to improve the coming year.

Call it one of the biggest gatherings to celebrate a New Year’s resolution ever.

The Vaisakhi celebration in mid-April (on Saturday, April 20 this year) begins a new calendar in the Sikh religion.

This year, there’s a groundswell to do more community work within Surrey, says celebration spokesperson Moninder Singh Buar, meaning there will be an increase in the amount of food, time and money donated to various causes.

“Living in Surrey, this is what do we do for Surrey.”

In Sikh religion, it’s called seva, or selfless service.

“What benefit can we be to the overall community?” says Buar of the concept. “There’s an increase amongst youth who want to do things.”

As an example, he cites an abundance of food in the various Sikh temples that can be donated into the community.

Education will also be a big component of seva for many in 2013, Buar predicts, with the Sikh community helping out with the multicultural aspect to education.

Hopefully, he says, that will take the form of a multi-faith group that would visit Surrey schools, and “one or two concerts or larger public events, that maybe aren’t religious-based, they are more culture-based,” Buar says.  “We’re trying to teach the similarities in life.”

Buar also expects more Sikhs will get involved in politics, going to town hall meetings and such.

“There’s a youth engagement more from the social welfare side,” Buar said. “It’s sort of a new year within the Punjabi calendar.

“It’s sort of the way you would come up with a New Year’s resolution. We kind of come up with a few of ours.”

The Vaisakhi parade begins at 9:30 a.m. this Saturday.

Surrey North Delta Leader