A COMMEMORATIVE dinner was held in Coventry to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji.
The event at the historic St Mary’s Guildhall saw civic, faith and community leaders gather to pay their respects to the founder of the Sikh religion.
Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji was born on April 15 1469, and died on September 22 1539, at the age of 70.
His birth is honoured across the world, and for this year’s anniversary, many events were held in Coventry – a procession on November 17, with floats and hymns, and 550 trees have been planted in local parks and greenspaces by the Sikh Union.
At the dinner, councillors praised the effect Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s teachings had on the city.
Cllr Abdul Salam Khan, Deputy Leader, said: “It is wonderful to think that a man born so many years ago can still be having such an impact on the daily life of our city and helping to make it the beautiful place it is today.
“His teachings play a very important part in our city and our strong Sikh community is such a valued and loved part of our life.
“By following his messages of equality, of sharing and helping others, they have helped Coventry to become the beautiful multicultural city that it is today. His wisdom has lasted throughout the years and we are very glad and very honoured that it plays such a strong role in our lives.”
The dignitaries ate a three course menu at the Guildhall, starting with samosas, spring rolls, sweet potato and chick pea curry.
The main course was a vegetable curry with lentil dahl, rice and naan.
For dessert a mixed fruit salad was served with cream, followed by coffee.
Coun Gary Ridley, Leader of the Conservative group, added: “His words have inspired many over the years – including myself – and they have certainly inspired our city.
“He was strongly opposed to discrimination in all its forms, both in word and deed. That is a message our city lives by, both here at home, and in our work around the world to bring people together in peace and friendship.
“We are committed to putting equality and inclusion at the heart of everything we do. The strength of Coventry lies in its diversity – from our communities to our workplaces, our schools and our cultural life. The teachings of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji are a vital part of that.”
Guests at the event included mayors of neighbouring towns; representatives from gurdwaras and other places of worship in the city; Colonel George Marsh, Deputy Lord Lieutenant; and Aman Puri, the Consul General of India.
Coun Jaswant Birdi said: “This is the first time a dinner has been held in St Marys’ Hall Guildhall to pay homage to the founder of the Sikh religion. It was a truly memorable event with representatives from across the community taking part. It shows that in Coventry there is a real desire to bring our multicultural community together in a spirit of peace and harmony. In particular, I’d like to pay tribute to Cllr Abdul Khan for hosting for honouring the Sikhs’ First Guru, Guru Nanak dev ji on his 550th Birth Anniversary.”
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