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University's Sikh Society hosts Reading Mayor

Sikh langar

Over 200 guests, including students and members of staff, removed their shoes and adorned Rumals on the day

The University of Reading's Sikh Society recently played host to the Mayor of Reading Cllr Deborah Edwards with a very special lunch.

Among the guests was the President of the local Gurdwara (temple) on Cumberland Road. Members of University staff were also seen at the langar during their lunch time, as well as leaders from the Chaplaincy and Hindu Society.

A langar, which is a Punjabi word referring to a community kitchen which serves free food, was created in 'The Lounge' which is part of the Students' Union. Langar in Sikhism translates to free kitchen and is a key feature in Sikh life where people can sit and eat together on the floor regardless of religion, caste, colour, creed, age, gender or social status. Traditionally at the langar, only vegetarian food is served to ensure that all people, regardless of their dietary restrictions, can eat as equals.

Over 200 guests, including students and members of staff, removed their shoes and adorned Rumals (a form of headgear worn like a bandanna), and relished the lunch prepared by teams of ladies from the Sikh temple in Cumberland Road.

Cllr Edwards was even seen taking some food home as she enjoyed it so much and believed that this event should become a permanent fixture in the calendar for the Sikh Society.

Gurinder Singh, a trustee and co-founder of the University's Sikh Society, said he wanted to thank the Sikh Temple and the University of Reading for their help. He went on to say: "I believe that university life is all about experiencing new cultures for the first time as you meet people from all walks of life whilst studying at university, and with this event I feel we gave that opportunity to students as well as staff and others on campus."

The event is part of the build-up to the Vaisakhi celebrations on 13 April, celebrated by a parade through East Reading. The parade will be on 6 May.

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