LOS ANGELES, CA - Sikh devotees from all over Southern California congregated at the L.A. Convention Center on Dec. 14 to celebrate the 545th birth anniversary of the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak Dev. The celebrations were organized by Gurdwara Vermont with the help of 16 other Gurdwaras and religious...
During the daylong event, 21 different Raagi Jathas performed Keertan. Children Jathas of Valley Sikh Temple, Gurdwara Walnut, Nanak Sadan, Gurdwara Buena Park, Khalsa Care Foundation, Baba Farid Academy, GNCA Orange county and Bhai Mardana Academy sang Shabads in groups followed by Keertan by the women Jathas of Bhai Mardana Academy and Women Jatha from West Covina. A student from Guru Ramdas Ashram presented a speech on the life of Guru Nanak and student Dhadi Jatha from Gurdwara Buena Park presented Sikh history in traditional ballad style singing. Raagi Jathas; Bhai Naib Singh, Bhai Hardev Singh, Gurdwara Vermont Jatha, International Institute of Gurmat Sangeet, Guru Ramdas Ashram, Bhai Sohan Singh Rassia, Bhai Bhavandeep Singh and Sant Anoop Singh Une Wale performed soul fulfilling Gurbani Keertan.
The highlight of the event was Keertan by five prominent Raagi Jathas that included Bhai Raghbir Singh of Gurdwara Walnut; Bhai Jaswant Singh; Prof. Kulwant Singh Chandan; Prof. Ranjit Singh of Bhai Mardana Institute of Gurmat Sangeet and Bhai Varinder Singh of Khalsa Care Foundation
Raagi Jatha’s of Velly Sikh Temple, Gurdwara Buena Park, Sikh Center of Orange County, Gurdwara Alhambra and Gurdwara Sadh Sangat Norco also performing uplifting Keertan. Congress women Judy Chu, who had co-launched the American Sikh Congressional Caucus, while speaking on the occasion, said, “ We must keep working to have a country that lives up to the value taught by Guru Nanak, a country inclusive of all people, and where no one feels unsafe, unequal or un-American because of their faith or ethnicity. ‘’She said she had urged the Attorney General to include religion as a protected group while updating profiling guidelines for federal law enforcement agencies. The recent guidelines which included religion, was an important step forward. Lauding Guru Nanak,she called him a true humanitarian champion as he preached against prejudice based on race, caste and status. She urged all to work for the peace and unity for all people in the country and try to live up to the legacy that Guru Nanak left so many years ago. A plaque was presented to. Chu on the occasion. LA County Sheriff Jim McDonnell said Los Angeles was the most beautiful city to live in as it had people from every part of the globe and every culture, tradition and religion was represented here. He said relations of Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) with different communities were so strong that if something happened anywhere in the country, people looked upon the LAPD for help and support. As a sheriff, McDonnell said, he wanted to take this relationship to another level to make this county as safe as it could be. Representative of L.A. City Council member Paul Koretz, presented a certificate of appreciation to the organizers. Santokh Singh, General Secretary of the Gurdwara Vermont emceed the event while Baldev Singh Johal conducted the presentation part of the event. President Ronak Singh and the executive committee members and volunteers of Gurdwara Vermont were honored by the congregation.