Happy Vaisakhi! April marks the time when Sikhs around the world celebrate Vaisakhi. This year Vaisakhi was celebrated on Friday, April 14th. Vaisakhi marks an important day in the lives of Sikhs. The day is significant because its a day to recognize and remember the Sikh identity and commemorates the formation of the Khalsa Panth in 1699. It’s also considered a Spring festival. Wikipedia is a great resource to read up more on Vaisakhi.
As for me and my family, we attended an evening Sikh Gurdwara diwan on Friday in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. Then on Saturday, we attended a special diwan that featured prominent Ragi Bhai Harjinder Singh Ji Srinagarwale. Srinagarwale means he’s originally from Srinagar (Kashmir), India. Bhai Harjinder Singh sang many kirtans (musical hymms) in different raags. The best part of the evening? Everyone singing along with him and his jatha, or group. It was like one big happy family of friends, family and even strangers! I really enjoyed my Vaisakhi weekend and both diwans were time incredibly well spent. Would not have had it any other way.
Also, you’re probably wondering – what’s a raag? Sonya’s rough translation is that it’s a musical scale of notes with which to base a hymm or song. I am definitely nowhere close to a music expert (if you haven’t heard me sing yet, that’s probably a good thing!) But I have learned my share of some raags and tunes in the past. Music is something I’d love to get back into soon. Perhaps a music and travel combination? Food for thought for the future. Or maybe music for thought?
April means spring and spring means pleasant weather. Pleasant weather means running. I love running and for the past two years, I ran the Vaisakhi 5K in Queens NY. I signed up for it again this year but probably won’t run as I am taking it easy with regards to running right now. Hopefully I can be at the starting line (and in my running shoes) in 2018. The 5K is still open for registration so sign up today to celebrate the Sikh spirit of chardi kala, or eternal optimism. Vaisakhi 5K Sign Up! Last year everyone got to see and meet Fauja Singh, the 105 year old Sikh marathoner from London! He’s considered the oldest marathoner in the world. Talk about inspirational future goals! I had a brief conversation with Singh in Punjabi and he told me to continue to run. I love to run so hearing this made me want to continue my running journey even more. Fauja Singh Ji is definitely epitomizes the spirit of eternal optimism.
Since April is the month of Vaisakhi, I’m starting a “Gurdwaras Around the World” series. Its just gonna be a few posts at most since I have many countries and gurdwaras to visit in the future. I’ve barely scratched the surface but I’d love to share my experience and stories with everyone. on the internet. that reads my blog. (I hope that number continues to increase)
Stay Tuned. Happy Vaisakhi again!