ON Saturday, November 4, a group of youth will be going out on the streets of Winnipeg to serve food to celebrate the 548th birthday of the first Guru of the Sikh faith – Guru Nanak Dev Ji. The youth will be distributing Indian tea and snacks in front of Downtown Winnipeg Biz at 426 Portage Avenue at 1 p.m.
Guru Nanak was born into a Hindu family in 1469. He was an enlightened soul that opposed the Hindu caste system and spread the belief that there is only one God. Guru Nanak started the tradition of Langar in opposition of the caste system—which is a free communal vegetarian meal served to everyone regardless of race, religion or creed. After Guru Nanak, nine more Gurus followed and culminated in the 11th Guru—Guru Granth Sahib Ji—which is the Holy book that contains a compilation of hymns and teachings from the 10 Gurus.
Today, Sikhism has over 25 million followers and is the fifth largest religion in the world. Winnipeg is home to many Sikhs with 1.5 % of the city identifying as Sikh.
Langar Seva Winnipeg is a youth led organization aimed at helping feed anyone in need of a meal. Langar Seva means free communal kitchen and selfless service. Langar Seva is a central activity of the Sikh religion, which requires all Sikhs to work hard, serve others selflessly and remember God.
Langa Seva Winnipeg was started by sisters Simryn Singh (age 15) and Jasmyn Singh (age 12) in 2017. They work with other youth to prepare and distribute meals to those who are most vulnerable in the community. While the organization philosophy and activities are inspired by Sikhism, the organization is open to anyone who wants to help or donate.
Langar Seva Winnipeg has served over 600 meals to date and the sisters were asked to speak at We Day 2017 on October 25 at the MTS Centre in front of 16,000 people.
For more information about Langar Seva Winnipeg: Facebook LangarSevaWpg