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United Sikhs shine light on Sikhi at Parliament of the World's Religions

United-Sikhs-Worlds-Religions-Parliament-sikhsToronto (Canada), Nov 17, 2018 (Yes Punjab News)

As November marked the arrival of the Parliament of the World's Religions, a delegation of United Sikhs volunteers from the United Kingdom, United States, India and Canada led public awareness efforts to educate more than 10,000 non-Sikh event attendees. Opening with a greeting from the indigenous community as a tribute to Mother Earth, the Parliament hosted a diverse group of interfaith leaders from more than 80 nations for interfaith dialogue, exhibitions and performances on Nov. 1-7.


In partnership with fellow Sikh non-profit organizations and community leaders, including the Ontario Sikh and Gurdwara Council (OSGC), World Sikh Organization (WSO), American Sikh Council (ASC) and Sikh Council for Interfaith Relations (SCIR), United Sikhs contributed to the Parliament's Sikh presence by educating and empowering multi-faith congregations, which featured:


* 80 concurrent panels with approximately 60 Sikh participants

* Over 500 dastaars tied for non-Sikh Parliament attendees

* 20,000 meals served through the week-long langar service led by OSGC


"The Parliament of World Religions is a place where leaders and members of faith communities gather to discuss religious diversity, pluralism, interfaith engagement and the intersections of critical global institutions and issues," said Sun Kaur, Director of United Sikhs UK, who helped organized the Langar exhibition and several sessions.


"The Sikh community were able to showcase the teachings of our Gurus in many ways from sharing langar, tying turbans and highlighting selfless service of humanitarian aid across the globe. All communities are doing ground-breaking work to repair and strengthen their communities and those around them. At United Sikhs we will continue to also do this by following the Gurus message of Recognize the Human Race as One."


United Sikhs Directors Gurvinder Singh, Jagdeep Singh and Sukhwinder Singh spoke as panelists and educated participants on the Sikhi perspective around topics for the Parliament's core themes this year, including:


1. Women: The dignity of women across the world and wisdom traditions

2. Peace and Love: Counteracting war, hate and violence

3. Climate Action: Caring for our Earth and the responsibility for our future

4. Indigenous Peoples: The spiritual evolution of humanity and healing Earth

5. Next Generations: Interfaith has no age - youth voices for change

6. Justice: Advancing change toward peace and reconciliation


"Practice of faith has to be about uplifting self and humanity. PoWR2018 drew in global schools of spiritual learning to breakdown walls and promote universality of the light amongst all of us," said Jagdeep Singh, Director United Sikhs Canada Civil & Human Rights Advocacy (ICHRA). "Through langar, free community meals for all, and through seminars, music plenary and individual interactions, United Sikhs team was privileged to have enriched the experience for all the attendees in Toronto."


"It was an honor to speak about the principles of Sikhi to thousands of people from all faiths," said Gurvinder Singh, United Sikhs International SIKH AID Director. "Through our seva (selfless service) to humanity embodied by our global disaster relief work and us striving for social justice, we are able to put our words into demonstrable context that resonates with our fellow human beings, regardless of their religion or creed. God's work comes in many forms and gives us an opportunity to share love and light with others daily -- the Parliament was a great example of the equality and understanding that all global citizens should be striving towards daily."


Sikh keynote speeches were delivered by Community Leaders S. Gobinder Singh Randhawa, Bhai Sahib Bhai Mohinder Singh and Dr. Simran Jeet Singh. Each speaker highlighted the 1984 Sikh Genocide in India and the importance of forgiveness and reconciliation, which set the tone for the Sikh sessions that followed in the Parliament, including Langar and dastaar (turban) tying which welcomed people of all faiths.


"For the first time, the Parliament has considered human rights as a moral issue and not a political one," Dr. Anahat Kaur stated in one of her sessions, referring to the speeches on the 1984 Genocide.


PoWR2018 was a successful event -- The Sikh presence was unmistakable," said Sukhwinder Singh, United Sikhs Canada Director. "Sikh representatives participated in discussions, Sikhi was well represented. Thanks to the local Sikh community and the international attendees who came from across the globe to participate in these discussions. This is a step forward towards global peace and ONE community."


"PoWR2018 gave a platform to showcase Sikhi in its true spirit. The Sikh Gurus teachings of one mankind and equality," said United Sikhs India Coordinator Parvinder Singh. "It was enlightening to meet other religious believers and learn about their perspective towards global issues and how we can contribute to resolve them. Sikh representation was well received at the Parliament and were able to deliver the message of Peace and Justice. It was heartwarming to see the overwhelming response and how Langar was appreciated by the international community."

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