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United Sikh Association shares its traditions at ‘Langar Day’ celebration

Joel C. Bautista | The Ticker

The Baruch United Sikh Association replicated such a langar hall in the manner of transforming the Newman Vertical Campus cafeteria into a Gurdwara-like setting, where carpets were rolled out on the floor for students to sit on. They were asked to take off their shoes and cover their heads before doing so, which is tradition for Sikhs upon entering their sacred temples of Gurdwaras. 

“The reason for sitting on the floor is a political statement, actually. It’s to promote equality,” said Tandeep Kaur Sawhney, a sophomore studying communications and the president of the United Sikh Association. “No matter what gender, caste, creed, religion, social or economic status you are, we are all the same and we’re all sitting on the floor while eating.” 

Members of the United Sikh Association actually helped prepare all the food for the event in the early morning, cooking at a well-known Gurdwara in Richmond Hills, Queens and bringing it all the way to Baruch. 

“All of us met at 118 Gurudwara, which is in Richmond Hills, Queens, around 6 a.m., 7 a.m. We all worked together, and cooked the rice, made the chickpeas, cauliflower, everything. So, we all like worked together. All the people here, they actually came together and made the food, and we brought it here,” explained Kiranveer Kaur, an Executive Board member of the Sikh Association and sophomore studying finance. 

Visitors enjoying their hot meals expressed gratitude in coming together in the name of equality. “To be honest, it’s breaking out my cultural roots. They said free Indian food, and I really like food, and it’s free, so I came by, really enjoying it. You know, just learning the culture, to be honest,” said Ystin Pierrat, a freshman majoring in finance. Other attendees agreed the event was an interesting window into a culture.

“I think it’s pretty cool actually. There’s a lot of people here, most of them aren’t Sikh. They’re just here for the food, like me. It’s nice that we’re all just sitting here on the floor and eating food together,” said freshman Mushrath Choudhary. 

The food cooked and brought to campus by the club included but was not limited to lentil soup called daal, rice, cauliflower, chickpeas, mixed vegetables and roti, which is a kind of bread. 

Members of the United Sikh Association made sure students were able to have a good meal by walking around and redistributing daal for anyone that wanted more. Kaur explained the meaning behind Langar Day, specifically for this semester. 

“This semester, we are actually doing it for a specific thing, which is our first guru. In our religion, Guru Nanak Dev Ji, it’s his 550 birthday,” she said.

The United Sikh Association is devoted to spreading their awareness of Sikhism through Langar Day, as explained by Tehreem Khan, a general member of the association and sophomore majoring in management. 

“I think this event gives a great way for everyone to come together and learn about Sikhi,” he said. “The club in general does a really great job in having different events that brings the community together regardless of faith or through ideals that everybody can share.” 

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