Last week marked the Gurpurab (birthday) of our first Guru and the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak Dev Ji.
Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s basic messages were:
- “Kirt karo”: earn an honest days labour
- “Naam japo”: always remember God like a mother always has its baby in her thoughts to fight off the five vices known as kaam (lust), karodh (rage), lobh (greed), moh (attachment) and ahankar (ego)
- “Vandh ke shakhao”: share what you have and always be humble
He also rejected the caste system and believed in equality both between religions, castes, men and women and rich and poor.
It’s really important for me that Arjun grows up knowing about our religion and roots. While I’m totally open and embracing of other cultures, especially living in England, it’s also really important for me to ensure we mark such occasions to the same degree as we do others such as Christmas.
I always try to mark special occasions in Sikhi such as Guru Arjun Dev Ji’s birthday and Vaisakhi even if it’s just visiting the Gurdwara.
Last year for Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s birthday, a few friends and I took our (what were then), babies, for a day out and afternoon tea (more for us mummies!). After a few hours play at Snakes & Ladders, we all shared valuable lessons of Guru Nanak Dev Ji and learnt so much from each other. It was a really special day and something we promised we’d continue to do each year. They’re coming over this weekend to celebrate in our Winter Wonderland where all the mummies will tell stories about Guru Nanak Dev Ji and we’ll have a little crafts session around equality.
This year, on the actual day, I was really unwell with sinusitis and barely had any energy to do anything but I was determined to go to the Gurdwara with Arjun. After dropping him to nursery, I listened to blissful kirtan on Desi Radio on my journey home. It was beautiful and I ended up sitting in the car parked in the drive to carry on listening because I just didn’t feel like moving! I felt so calm and peaceful.
The night before, the DIY Winter Wonderland went up – we thought we’d decorate the house early for Christmas to also celebrate the birth of Guru Nanak Dev Ji.
As I wasn’t feeling too good, I happily played creative director while allowing the others to decorate and jumped in every so often (mainly to fix there mishaps hehe). We’ve included a picture of Guru Nanak Dev Ji in our Winter Wonderland too.
Arjun was ecstatic when he saw it and was so overjoyed. He kept cuddling me and kissing me. It was adorable! He squealed with excitement and couldn’t contain himself – I’ve never seen him react like that before. It made it so worth it!
His Gurpurab gift was a cute little Bosch tool belt to match his daddy’s. He’s obsessed with tools and “fixing” things so we thought this would fit!
We just about managed to get to the Gurdwara with my sister to do matha. He insisted I held him all the way up to Maharaj (Guru Granth Sahib), got down and did matha by himself and then stood up with his hands together infront of Maharaj. It was so so adorable and I felt so proud of my little boy. I wish I could have photographed it! I literally had to pull him away (and had to deal with a few kicks as a result!).
We listened to kirtan for five minutes, or tried to anyway! Arjun was up to his usual antics of running up and down the path to do matha – I’m definitely STILL THAT mum at the Gurdwara! He enjoyed his langar and insisted on breaking his roti (chapatti) himself.
I was so glad we made it to the Gurdwara although it wasn’t for as long as I’d hoped.
How did you celebrate Gurpurab?x