World observes Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary

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Melbourne: Sikh community all over the world on Tuesday observed the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism.

The main ceremony of the day was held at Gurdwara Janam Asthan at Nankana Sahib, Punjab province, reports Radio Pakistan.

Interior Minister Ejaz Shah joined a large number of Sikh pilgrims at the shrine.

Addressing the ceremony, Shah said that Kartarpur Corridor, the 4.5 km-long border corridor between Pakistan and India that connects the Sikh shrines of Dera Baba Nanak Sahib and Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, was a great gift from the Imran Khan government for the community paving the way for peace and friendship in region.

Gurdwara Darbar Sahib is where Guru Nanak Dev spent 18 years of his life and is his final resting place.

The Minister said that Pakistan would continue to look after holy places of minorities including the Sikh community’s in much better ways as possible.

In India, a sea of devotees from across the country thronged the historic Gurdwara Ber Sahib in Sultanpur Lodhi on Monday, a day ahead of the 550th birth anniversary of the first Sikh guru, Guru Nanak Dev.

The highly revered Gurdwara Ber Sahib is where Guru Nanak gained enlightenment at the end of the 15th century.

A majority of the pilgrims came from Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Bihar and Maharashtra. Even devotees are coming from abroad, largely from Britain, Canada and the US.

In Australia too, SIkhs celebrated the occasion with full fervour. Various gurudwaras across the country held festivities. Melbourne led a humanity walk with thousands joining the procession.

The Andrews Labor Government is already supporting Victoria’s Sikh communities with Minister for Multicultural Affairs Richard Wynne on September 18 announcing that 18 organising groups will share in $200,000 to hold a range of events throughout October and November in 2019 – fulfilling a key election commitment.

Buildings and landmarks around Melbourne were lit in saffron this evening in honour of the occasion, including the Bolte Bridge, the Arts Centre, Melbourne Museum and AAMI Stadium.

Victoria is home to Australia’s largest Sikh community, with more than 52,000 Sikh Victorians recorded in the 2016 Census.

(TIW & agencies)