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Monday, May 27, 2013

BARSI CELEBRATIONS IN MELAKA

Barsi celebration for revered local Sikh saint in Malacca

By Hanis Maketab | news@nst.com.my

MALACCA: More than 50,000 worshippers gathered at the Gurdwara Sahib Malacca here today to commemorate the 41st anniversary of Sant Baba Sohan Singh Ji’s death, which took place May 24-26.  

Also known as “Barsi”, the celebration is the largest Sikh event in the world outside Punjab, with Sikhs from as far as Europe, Australia and the United States making the annual pilgrimage here. During Barsi, the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (Sikh Holy Book) will be recited from start to finish, which normally takes three days and two nights to complete.

Barsi 2013 organising chairman Datuk Dr Mahinder Singh said about 10 per cent of the visitors who came for the event annually, were foreigners.

“The event is not only for Sikhs – we welcome anyone who would like to join in the celebrations and learn more about the Sikh religion and culture,” he said. 

People of various races and religions were seen donning the traditional headscarves and took off their shoes as a sign of respect while in certain areas of the temple.

The late Sant Sohan Singh was an eminent Sikh priest who was born in Punjab in 1902. He dedicated his life to spreading Sikhism in Malaysia and Singapore and was declared a saint after his death in Malacca in 1972.

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