As a part of the ongoing initiatives planned by the High Commission of India in UK and its Consulates to celebrate the 550th Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, a commemorative event was held at Cardiff University, Wales on 19th May 2019 to mark the beginning of year-long celebrations. This event was organized by the High Commission in partnership with the Sikh Council of Wales, four Gurudwaras in Wales, Cardiff University and active support of local authorities and our Honorary Consul in Wales.
The event witnessed attendance by high-level dignitaries including Rt. Hon. Mark Drakeford, First Minister of Wales, Sir Brooke Boothby, Vice Lord Lieutenant of Cardiff and South Glamorgan, Rt. Hon. Diane Rees, Lord Mayor of Cardiff, Baroness Jenny Randerson, Chancellor, Cardiff University, Shri Gurmit Singh Randhawa, President, Sikh Council, Wales and Professor James Hegarty, Cardiff University. More than five hundred people from all sections of the community including Sikhs, Hindus and Christians attended the celebrations during which children and Sikh artists presented glimpses of Sikh culture such as Shabad, Jatha and others.
In her address, the High Commissioner HE Ruchi Ghanashyam underlined the universal appeal of Guru Nanak Dev’s message transcending time, countries, castes, creed and gender. She stressed that Guru Nanak Dev’s message of peace, harmony, equality, and love is relevant even today and will continue to guide the humanity for years to come.
She highlighted the initiatives taken by the Government of India including development of Kartarpur corridor, development of historic town of Sultanpur Lodi, special trains connecting various holy places associated with Guru Nanak Dev Ji, commemorative coins and stamps, and setting up of a Guru Nanak Dev Ji Chair at one of the UK Universities, to mark the 550th Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji in a befitting manner. She added that underscoring the true universal appeal of Guru Nanak’s message, Sri Ram Mandir in South Hall, London, took the lead and organized a large event with participation of many Gurudwaras and people of different faith.
The programme was telecast live by the Sikh Channel in 106 countries. It concluded with ‘langar’, a community meal for all.
One of the highlights of the programme was active participation by children from all the Gurudwaras. Children recited Shabad and spoke about various facets of Sikh culture.