Several events celebrating 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Devji held around U.S.

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Devotees perform “Gatkha”, a traditional form of martial arts, during a religious procession ahead of the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of the Sikh faith, in Chandigarh, November 2, 2017. REUTERS/Ajay Verma

The 550th birth Anniversary of Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji was celebrated in Consulate General of India, New York on Nov. 2, 2019.A large number of members of Indian diaspora and friends of India attended the event, a press release from the Consulate said.

India’s Consul General Sandeep Chakravorty, inaugurated a photo-exhibition entitled, Life & Philosophy of Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, at the event. Ambassador Chakravorty dwelt on the relevance of the message and philosophy of Guru Nanak Devji and the significance of ‘Sangat’ and ‘Pangat’ tradition which were started by Guru Nanak Devji.

The Consulate also organized a panel discussion on “Contribution of Sikhs in America” that included several speakers, among them, Mandeep Singh, managing director, Geocom Capital; attorney Ravi Batra; Karambir Kang of Taj Hotels; Country Head ICICI bank Akashdeep Singh Sarpal; Tajinder Singh, publisher of Maha Punjab newspaper; and community member Atma Singh.

The celebration ended with the traditional langar.

Celebrations began from October, including one at Hofstra University, N.Y. where a three-day conference marked the 550th birth anniversary Oct. 10-12. Guru Nanak’s Ek – Anek Vision was the focus. The event was organized by Dr Balbinder Singh Bhogal and Dr Francesca Cassio under the Sardarni Kuljit Kaur Bindra Chair in Sikh Studies and Sardarni Harbans Kaur Chair in Sikh Musicology at Hofstra. More than 30 scholars and artists from all over the world attended. This was the eighth conference at Hofstra  under the Sardarni Kuljit Kaur Bindra Chair since its inception in 2001, a press release said.

At the welcome dinner Tejinder Singh Bindra spoke of the secularism, universal love and equality preached and practiced by Guru Nanak; the importance of equality whether it be among nations, castes , gender or wealth. Indie Singh spoke about the importance of gurmat sangeet in their family and how happy her parents would be at seeing the progress of the musicology chair. Bhai Baldeep Singh was the Keynote speaker.

More than 500 Sikh gathered Nov. 12, 2019, in the Greater Washington area, to celebrate the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Devji, organized by the Guru Gobind Singh Foundation USA. (Photo: courtesy GGSF)

On Nov. 12, Gerald Krell and Adam Krell, directors of Guru Nanak Documentary were honored at Guru Gobind Singh Foundation USA (GGSF) during the celebrations of the 550th birth-anniversary of Guru Nanak. This is the first ever documentary on Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, which is scheduled for premier screening at the prestigious National Press Club in Washington on November 20, 2019, a press release from the Guru Gobind Singh Foundation, said.

In a packed hall of 500 Sikh community members, Gerald Krell, was given the Guru Nanak Service Award 2019 by GGSF. Gerald Krell also won the best director award at the Los Angeles Awareness Film Festival last month and there were over 50 films from all over the world featured at this festival.
Gerald Krell, director of the Guru Nanak Documentary being feted at the Nov. 12, 2019 Guru Gobind Singh Foundation event held in Washington, D.C., to celebrate the 550th birth anniversary of the founder of the Sikh religion. (Photo: GGSF)

“I feel privileged to work on this film and it was a great learning experience for me and my team,” Gerald Krell said while receiving the award. “We feel that the world needs to know about Guru Nanak who was ahead of his times. The documentary will serve as a worldwide educational outreach catalyst for community, dialogue and interfaith understanding.”

Sarabjit Singh Sidhu, Chairman of GGSF, presented him a plaque and said, “Guru Nanak’s message is healing to the world and can bring people together. We felt that this film will play a role of creating bonds among communities and that is a great service to humanity. They deserve this award.”
Dr. Rajwant Singh, secretary of GGSF and co-founder of the National Sikh Campaign, said, “There is total ignorance about Guru Nanak and his contributions. This documentary will inform Americans and rest of the world about his great legacy. The narration is focused on the key message of Guru Nanak’s teachings which will also resonate with people all over the world.”

Organizers said PBS will facilitate the showing of this documentary on 200 TV stations all over America in coming months. Besides narrating Guru Nanak’s history and key points of Guru Nanak’s teachings, the documentary features such prominent Sikh luminaries ranging from Grammy nominee Snatam Kaur, to Mayor Ravi Bhalla of Hoboken, New Jersey, to show how his positive legacy continues.

National Sikh Campaign (NSC) helped support this project and many Sikhs from USA and other parts of the world have contributed, the press release said.
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