On 6 June, the Philosophy and Religious department arranged a visit to the Gurdwara in Wan Chai for Year 6 students. Below is the account written by Tasman Hancock (Y6, Nightingale), Allegra Sylvester (Y6, Fry) and Carrie Stevenson (Y6, Fry): Gurdwara is a place where Sikhs go to worship and pray. Upon arriving at the temple, the students were requested to remove their shoes as a sign of respect, then the boys and girls alike were given a headscarf to tie around their heads, also as a sign of respect. Then they proceeded to the langar (which means ‘kitchen’) and ate a delicious meal. Sikhs believe that the food should be for anyone to eat, so it is vegetarian. We were all then given three traditional Indian foods: lentil curry (which was a bit spicy, to add flavour), Naan bread (which we enjoyed dipping into the curry) and rice. We learned that the food is made in massive pots and that 200-400 people came to eat each day.
Sikhs believe in selfless service, so there were people handing out food and cleaning up the mess. Everyday, a family of volunteers cook all the food and do the dishes and any other job around the langar. There is no entrance fee to the Gurdwara and the food is free of charge;it is considered an honour and the family who volunteers work hard to do a good job.
After this, we were welcomed into a small classroom and given a presentation about Sikhism and what it means to Sikhs. This was very informative and reviewed the knowledge that we had learned in lessons. Then we went into the prayer hall and looked at the Guru Granth Sahib (‘holy book’) and were given a prasad (‘an offering’) which is sweet, like a flapjack.
Overall the trip was fun and educational and the students agreed that the highlight was definitely the food. A student on the trip said, “This trip was very fun, but I think we should help with the cleaning and cooking!”