The Okanagan Sikh Temple and Cultural Society.
The Okanagan Sikh Temple and Cultural Society was incorporated in November of 1979.
At that time there were 34 families in the area. The first temple in Kelowna was opened on May 30, 1982.
In the mid ninety’s the Sikh population had grown substantially and a new facility was required; so in 2003 plans for the new temple were drawn up.
In the following year the construction of the new facility began which was largely done on a volunteer basis.
On April 26, 2008 the new building was open to the public. The Sikh community has come a long way and are proud to be a part of this great city.
By the mid ninety’s Sikh community had grown substantially and a new facility was required. In 1996 Dr. Gurmit Singh Randawa started the movement for a new Sikh Temple. By 1997 collections and pledges for a new temple started to accumulate quickly. Plans for a new building were drawn up and this time 1.4 million dollars was the project construction cost the new building.
In 2003 the plans for the new temple were redrawn and facility was made larger and more detail was added. Construction of the new facility was started in the fall of 2004. At the beginning most of the construction was done on a volunteer bases. In the later stages the work was contracted out. The total cost was 4 million dollars for furnished the temple building. Individual donors have contributed the bulk of the money need for the construction of the facility.
The Okanagan Sikh Temple and Cultural Society was incorporated in November of 1979. At this time there were thirty four families that lived in the city of Kelowna, Westbank and Lake Country. In the early years the Sikh community held its religious ceremonies at The German Canadian Harmony Club located on Cary Rd. The community decided it was time to build their own facility. The president of the society, Joginder Singh Basran and the treasure of the society, Jarnail Singh Dhami were asked to locate and start construction of the new temple. The new temple was opened on May 1982, at a cost of six hundred thousand dollars.
Around this period the society was informed by Kabal Singh Johal that an anonymous donor had donated one acre of land to the Sikh community. The land had been registered in the name of The Khalsa Diwan Society of Vancouver. It was being held in trust until a Sikh society had been founded in Kelowna. The property located on Sexsmith Rd was to be used for Sikh Funerals (cremation). The property had been donated to the Sikh Community in the early 1950’s. It was a controversial move at the time but it turned out to be very favorable for the society.
In the late eight’s the property on Sexsmith Rd. as sold because cremation service became readily available. By the early 90’s the society became mortgage free. The early Sikh pioneers worked mainly in farming and forest industries.
The Gurdwara Sahib is a place for acquiring spiritual knowledge and wisdom. It is open to every one regardless of age, gender, caste, color, or creed. Here all men, women and children are treated as equal. Gurdwara Sahib also brings the community together and builds stronger community relationships
Akhand Path (akhand = uninterrupted, without break; path = reading) is the non-stop, continuous recital of the Guru Granth Sahib from beginning to end. On Various Gurupurbs, the Gurdwara Sahib has an Akhand Path Sahib that anyone can come and listen and conduct Seva.
Sukhmani Sahib Path
Weekly Program on every Sunday. Sukhmaini Sahib Path and Kirtan Sewa
Wedding service is conducted in the Prayer Hall of a Gurdwara a Sikh place of worship. The service is traditionally conducted in Punjabi, according to the principles set out in the Guru Granth Sahib Ji in the Gurmukhi Script. The families and friends of the Bride and Groom gather in the Prayer Hall, for the the Anand Karaj – the blissful union. The congregation assembles together in the presence of the Guru Granth Sahib (Holy Scripture). The Groom enters the hall and bows before Guru Granth Sahib Ji and awaits the bride. At the start if the Anand Karaj, both the bride and groom bow before Guru Granth Sahib Ji, and then sit side by side at the front of the hall. The couple and the parents stand up to offer Ardas (prayer), signifying the that the parents have given their blessing for the wedding to take place. Everyone else remains seated while the Ardas is read, a prayer for the success of the marriage. The musicians, who are called Ragis, sit on a low stage and sing the hymn ‘Keeta Loree-ai Kaam’, to seek Gods’s blessing and to convey a message thats a successful martial unions is achieved through grace.
The Langar or free community kitchen is a hallmark of the Sikh faith. It was established by the first Guru of Sikhism, Guru Nanak Dev Ji, around the year of 1481. It is designed to uphold the principle of equality between all people of the world regardless of religion, caste, colour, creed, age, gender, or social status; to eliminate the extreme poverty in the world, and to bring about the birth of "caring communities". In addition to the ideals of equality, the tradition of Langar expresses the ethics of sharing, community, inclusiveness, and oneness of all humankind. "..the Light of God is in all hearts." (Guru Granth Sahib, 282)
Gurdwara Sahib Langar Seva can be undertaken on Sunday(s), Sangrands and Gurpurabs.
Educating our community and those around is will help build our communities and with sharing of beliefs and customs, we can all contribute to building a stronger future. We undertake educational visits to schools, senior homes, hospitals and community events. Please contact us and we can taylor the visit to your organization or particular need.
A brief introduction into the history of Sikhism and our Gurus
The purpose of the Gurdwara (Sikh Temple)
The Sikh way of Life
An understanding of the Sikh Beliefs.
Photographs of various programs at Gurudawara Sahib.
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