AUCKLAND (Tarandeep Bilaspur): Supreme Sikh Society of New Zealand held Nagar Kirtan (religious procession) to mark 551st Gurpurb (birth anniversary of Guru Nana Dev) in Otahuhu, a suburb in Auckland on Saturday. The religious process started from gurdwara Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji in Otahuhu.
The first Nagar Kirtan in New Zealand was held in 1996, which too had started from same gurdwara. Society’s spokesperson Bhai Daljit Singh said it was 25th Nagar Kirtan but it was first on occasion of gurpurb as earlier Nagar Kirtan used to be held on occasion of Baisakhi in month of April but couldn’t be organised this year due to lockdown in view of COVID – 19.
Diwan was set up from 10 am to 12: 30 pm after which Nagar Kirtan started. Passing through Princes Street and other markets in Otahuhu, the religious procession culminated at same gurdwara after nearly two hours. Teams of youth volunteers served snacks and soft drinks during the procession while people of wider communities who had praised the works done by the Punjabis during COVID – 19 induced lockdown, paid obeisance by stopping their cars on the road. Stalls set up by Radio Sadeala, Chaska and Indian Sweets remained main attraction during the event.
From Supreme Sikh Society, Bhai Daljit Singh, Rajinder Singh Jindi, Ranbir Singh Lali, Jaswinder Singh Nagra, Manjinder Singh Baasi, Aswinder Singh Bhatti, were in the frontline of organisers. Their New Zealand born kids were also active as volunteers to hold the event successfully.
Gatka (traditional form of martial arts) played by New Zealand born kids thrilled the people while continuous recitation of Jaap and Kirtan by women made the atmosphere spiritual.
Colourful turbans and saffron Chunnis gave the event fascinating look. The participation by people of all ages including kids, women, old age people, reflected the growing influence of Sikhism in New Zealand.
According to Bhai Daljit Singh, participation this time was much higher compared previous years. At the end devotees relished food in langar (community kitchen) while kids enjoyed Kulfi (traditional Indian ice cream).