Sikhs Serve Thousands Free Lunch At Utah Conference To Demonstrate Equality

Source: Huffington Post

By Associate Religion Editor, The Huffington Post

The scent of curry wafted from a conference hall in Salt Lake City, Utah, Saturday as thousands lined up for a free meal at the Parliament of the World’s Religions, an international gathering that, every five years, brings together thousands of people from different religious and spiritual traditions.

Nishkam Centre, a U.K.-based Sikh organization, hosted the free lunch with the help of dozens of volunteers. The meal, called a langar, is a fundamental component of the Sikh faith and offered diners a taste of worship at its most egalitarian.

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Thousands partook of a free langar meal on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015, during the Parliament of the World’s Religions.

As visitors entered the hall, volunteers instructed them to remove their shoes and make their way to the dining area. There, another set of volunteers approached those whose hair was uncovered and placed a simple white bandana on their heads.

“You are about to eat food that has been blessed, and so we cover our heads out of respect,” one volunteer told The Huffington Post.

Geetika Kaur, another volunteer, stood at the front of the line offering a quick explanation of the langar tradition to those about to partake in the feast.

“The gurus started this tradition to say, ‘Regardless of who you are, where you come from, what your background is, you’re welcome into this space,'” Kaur told HuffPost. People are encouraged to break bread together, she added, and “share that common humanity that binds all of us together.”

Langar meals were offered every day of the five-day conference. Amrick Singh Ubhi, the director of Nishkam Centre, estimated that up to 6,000 people had been fed on Saturday alone.

Read further

Suggested Reading
Two Hundred Verses about Compassionate Living in the Quran

A Message of Compassion and Love from the Holy Bible

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