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October 15, 2014 - Image 9

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2014-10-15

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. W 0

8B Wednesday October15,2014 The Statement
THE VISUAL STATEMENT: LANGAR AS AN ANCHOR FOR A COMMUNITY
BY LUNA ANNA ARCHEY

I

Michigan alum Jasprit Singh plays the dhol during Langar on the LSA senior Harleen Kaur, North
Diag.

he task is huge but don't have any anxi-
ety about it. We saw that at the temple.
Don't be stressed about it, come and
have fun. That is the purpose." That's what
Coordinator Prof. Jasprit Singh told the group
of students as they planned the logistics of
feeding 5,000 people.
'The direct translation of Langar is 'anchor',
and it's a tradition that started in the t5th cen-
tury to break the social barriers of the caste
system in India and bring together people of
all walks of life, and it still exists on a mas-
sive scale. A group of students in the Global
Intercultural Experience for Undergraduates
(GIEU) traveled to Amritsar, India this sum-
mer to see the impressive feat in action at the
Golden Temple, and to offer their own hard
work.
Later the same week I was able to attend
langar on a much smaller scale as the Sikh Stu-

dent Association got together for their monthly
prayer and langar. The students recited the
evening prayer "Rehraas Sahib" in a circle
together, then sang and played instruments in
praise during "keertan" before joining together
for a meal that they had prepared the night
before. The intimate occasion was joyful. Com-
munity member Amarjeet Kaur compared it to
my own Christian perceptions of "heaven," say-
ing they didn't believe in a heaven after death
because it is something you make yourself in
this life through relationships and instances of
community and togetherness.
For the GIEU students, the Sikh students,
and others that prepare food for langar, it is a
privilege to give their time to prepare food for
others, not spmething that is acknowledged or
expected. "Just as you would give to yourself
you give to your people because it is all con-
nected," Singh said.

Business sophomore Anish Baweja receives the lentil dish "daal" from Rackham student Punjeet
Singh.

"F

Florence Rivkin.

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