Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Gatka Camp and Competition in Mumbai

I just posted a comment over at Mr.Sikhnet's site where he outlined a Gatka camp put on by the Miri Piri Academy in New Delhi. Folks were asking for Gatka camps to be held in their city or town, and one [comment from] Mumbai stood out. I remember going to a Gurdwara that just opened in Mumbai [a couple of years back - Dec. 2004](don't remember the part of the city) with a Jain friend of mine on Guru Nanak's Gurpurab [535th].

There were politicians there and it was an interesting scene to behold. I don't believe historically there have been many Sikhs in Mumbai, and there was interest by the surrounding community to come see what was happening as well. One thing my friend commented on was how orderly the Sikhs were, especially as all the shoes that were removed were lined up in good order and someone was wiping them down. It had been his first time to a Gurdwara in fact, and he came away quite impressed with the way the Darbar Sahib operated.

It was while I was there (or at another Gurdwara in the central part of the city - memory is a little fuzzy that way) that I picked up a flyer outlining a Gatka competition that is held annually in Mumbai. I remember thinking to myself then that spirituality through sport, in this case Gatka, can help bring more youth to a better understanding of Sikh philosophy and ultimately to the Khalsa. The level of interest in Gatka is only growing year after year. As a channel through which young Sikhs and non-Sikhs can be brought to connect with Sikhi, it has as much potential as any other that I've seen.

If I get a chance in the next day or two, I'll post some of the pictures from that visit on this post.

Here are the photos from that trip a couple of year's back now... (Dec. 2004)

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