Sikhs celebrate annual Shaheedi Smagam at Scott Road temple

Hundreds of devotees packed Surrey's Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara for its annual Shaheedi Smagam honouring victims of the 1984 Sihk genocide.

As many of the children in North Delta were putting on their costumes to go trick-or-treating this Halloween, the Sikh members of the community were preparing for a very different celebration.

On Oct. 31, hundreds of devotees packed the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara (7050 120 St., Surrey) to mark the martyrdom of Sardar Beant Singh and Sardar Satwant Singh, who Sikhs remember as heroes who lost their lives for the community, holding prayers in their honour and paying tribute to those who lost their lives in the 1984 Sikh genocide.

Temple management and volunteers made elaborate preparations for the Shaheedi Smagam.

The program began with a harmonious kirtan (devotional singing) by the young children trained at the Gurdwara, mesmerizing the attendees.

“Programs like this are particularly designed for the young children to make them conversant of their rich heritage and culture,” said Rupinder Kaur, one of the program volunteers. “It is also a platform for the community to come together and intermingle for the welfare of the society as a whole.”

As the celebrations continued, the children in attendance participated in an interactive quiz about Sikh history, with prizes distributed to the winners. Festival organizers also instructed them in the importance of conflict resolution and reporting bullying in school to their teachers, as well as the value of hard work.

“When the children come together at public platforms like this and listen to inspiring stories, it is far more inspirational for them rather than teaching them the do’s and don’ts at home,” said the parents of four-year-old Pram.

It wasn’t all quizzes and lectures, however. The kids also enjoyed face and hand painting, queuing up in huge numbers for their turn, before grabbing sumptuous snacks like French fries, pasta and, of course, bags of candy.

“I make a lot of new friends at community gatherings like this and then we share our talents with each other. It certainly helps us to grow,” said 14-year-old Bhav, who spent part of the day reading motivational stories to a group of friends.

The attendees later congregated in the community kitchen for a mouthwatering dinner of Indian delights.

Just Posted

Crashes pile up as snow blankets Surrey

Up to 10 centimetres of snow is in the forecast

How much does your city spend per person on snow removal?

Black Press Media compares 2018 ice and snow removal budgets of various Lower Mainland communities

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Surrey pastor in concert with songs from her new ‘Psalms for a Peaceful Heart’ CD

‘Incredible’ church sanctuary in Whalley a stage for Lori-Anne Boutin-Crawford’s music

Plan to redevelop former Surrey motel site too dense, says Coun. Pettigrew

Pettigrew: ‘We need to build liveable community with green spaces… not massive zones that are densified’

‘Riya was a dreamer’: Mother of slain 11-year-old Ontario girl heartbroken

Her father, Roopesh Rajkumar, 41, was arrested some 130 kilometres away

Market volatility, mortgages loom over upcoming earnings of Canada’s big banks

Central bank interest hikes have padded the banks’ net interest margins

Hearings into SNC-Lavalin affair start today, but not with Wilson-Raybould

She has repeatedly cited solicitor-client privilege to refuse all comment

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

Tilray to acquire hemp food company Manitoba Harvest for up to $419 million

Tilray will pay $150 million in cash and $127.5 million in stock.

Tears, flowers at impromptu memorial for Syrian children killed in Halifax fire

The family had only lived in the Quartz Drive home for a few months

NDP candidates push for stronger climate action as Singh supports LNG Canada

Singh has tried to project unity in the party while facing internal criticism for poor fundraising and low support in the polls

Ex-Langley spiritual leader cleared of stock trading allegations

Investors allegedly lost $740,000 investing through a local religious organization.

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

Most Read