Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Attending A Sikh Wedding

If you've never attended a Sikh wedding or even a Gurdwara, don’t panic, below is a brief guide to what to expect and what to wear:

All visitors to a Sikh Gurdwara should be aware of the following guidelines when visiting:

- Please dress appropriately so that you can sit comfortably and with decency on the carpeted floor. It is recommended to wear loose fitting clothing which covers most of your legs. Low hanging pants/trousers may not be suitable.

- All visitors entering the Main Prayer Hall will have to remove their shoes and place them in the shoe racks provided.

- All visitors MUST cover their heads while in the main
Gurdwara areas. Head scarves for men/boys will normally be available in the Gurdwara but a large knotted handkerchief is acceptable. Sikh men normally wear a Turban.

- Women/Girls will need to wear a dupatta/chunni or headscarf. The Gurdwara usually has a box of scarves, but you could bring your own headscarf for this purpose. The Sikh ladies usually wear a "Chunni", which is normally a long, flowing semi-transparent plain cloth with a decorated, veiled edging.

- Chairs are not provided in the Gurdwara and so, when sitting, this will be on the carpeted floor both in the Main Prayer Hall. Chairs are provided in the Guru ka
Langar Hall.

- On first entering the large prayer room, a small bow to the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji (the holy book) shows respect to the host community. Backs should not be turned to the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji or the soles of the feet pointed towards the Sikh holy book when sitting on the carpet. It is normal to sit cross-legged yoga style.

- Visitors will usually be offered Karah Parshad (sweet flour and oil based food offered as a gift) in the worship hall, which is usually given in cupped hands and eaten with the right hand. If you are uncertain about your ability to eat a lot of this food – Say “very small portion” to the Sewadar (volunteer) serving the Karah Parshad. You should take a small plastic bag (or ask for one from the Sewadar (volunteer) serving the Kara Parshad to save your Karah Parshad if it is not to your taste. Please do not refuse it or throw it away as it is considered very disrespectful.

- You may be offered Langar (vegetarian food from the communal kitchen). If not too certain about consuming this food you can ask to be excused although most people should take langar as it is regarded as a blessing by the Guru. When in the Guru ka Langar Hall, it is better to ask for less rather than take too much and waste the food. Say “very little” to the Sewadar (volunteer) serving the Langar. If you require more later, just wait for the Sewadar to come around.

1 comment:

tina said...

Am really looking forward to attending your wedding. Great website! All the best and enjoy the big day :)