The practice of Sikh Langar in Gurudwara is popular worldwide, it was started by Guru Nanak. The commitment of the people of the Sikh religion to serve food to the visitors in their religious place. The free food from the kitchen is unbiased considering religion, culture, caste. Langar, serving several people from the poor to the rich all are equally to have the food from the free Kitchen of Gurudwara.
Nihang Sikhs are known as warriors from their community who have great respect and they have their own beliefs and practices that differentiate them from the other Sikhs. Langar. The free food serving is on vegetarian dishes but the Nihangs have the only right to serve the meat in Langar.
The ritual of sacrificing of Goats during the popular festivals of Holla Mohalla and Diwali are the practices by the Nihangs and Hazuri Sikhs.
While, if we look back into the history of the religion then we find the name of Guru Gobind Singh initiated the hunting and sacrificing of animals. It is provided as the Mahaprasadam to the disciples as well as to the visitors.
Serving in Gurudwaras
The members from the Sikh community work in the kitchen to prepare the food for their people. Every Gurudwara has a Kitchen for free food distribution along with a dining hall for the visitors to sit and have their food. Simple and nutritious food is available sharing as a note of love and care to the needy. The combination of the roti, dal, and sabzi with a dessert completes a meal that no one can deny its tastes when having it along with many.
The main aim of starting the langar was to understand the importance of service, kindness, and care for others; irrespective of culture and economic differences for the own Sikh community and also the strangers. The main teachings that are followed by the Sikhism that is seen in through the free kitchen are “Naam Japo” Name of the Guru, “Kirat Karo” do your best earn honestly and “Vand Chhako”, share your food. These are the three main teachings of Sikhism that are showed and spread through Sikh langar.
The biggest langar is in the Golden Temple that feeds about 5000 people and therefore, people from all around the country visits the religious place. There is no difference seen in the contribution of the food making, as children help in the preparation of the rotis, while women participate in cutting of the vegetables. Men work in the distribution of the food and also seen in cooking sabzi and the chappatis.
Langars during the Covid-19
Though it was a community-based practice, which has been limited to religious places has driven itself to the roads to help the poor and the needy during the Global pandemic of Covid-19. The food was served to the people in different parts of the country when they had no food to survive. A tradition that was with a helpful intention. The Sikh Langar has been helping the needy and poor for decades globally.