35,000 attend the annual Nagar Kirtan Celebration and Parade in Queensborough

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35,000 attend the annual Nagar Kirtan Celebration and Parade in Queensborough

On June 23rd, the Sikh community on New Westminster's Queensborough Island had their annual Nagar Kirtan Parade and Celebration.  35,000 people attended over the course of the day. When considering that the population of New Westminster is only 80,000, that is a lot.

There was something for everybody, and mostly importantly, it was a great family event.

It all started out in the morning with a parade from the local Gurdwara – the Sukh Sakar Gudwara – to the grounds of the Queensborough Middle School.

The event was all in memory of their fifth guru who sacrificed his life 400 years ago for the cause of upholding the values of the religion that adheres to principles such as helping the oppressed, promoting equality, spirituality for all, and importantly in this case, freedom of speech and truth.

I spoke to Jag Sall, a volunteer whose job is outreach and communications for the Gurdwara. He provides information about the event and aspects of the Sikh religion, which arose from the crucible of Hinduism and Islam 500 years ago.

Free food was provided for all - this in the spirit of their religion. It is well-known that if you go to a Sikh temple, known as a Gurdwara, they will feed you. They have provided food for many people in crisis across the Lower Mainland including the large flood in the Abbotsford area a couple of years ago.

There is a large Sikh population in Queensborough on Lulu Island in New Westminster and the nearby city of Surrey across the Fraser River. Sikhs originally came to the area in early 1900's and were heavily involved in the logging industry of British Columbia.  Later farming in the Fraser Valley became a prime occupation for the population. Of course, today Sikhs are involved in a wide variety of occupations and professions.


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Video Upload Date: July 4, 2024

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