LONDON: Students in UK’s Birmingham city have served up more than 500 free meals as part of an important Sikh tradition.
Birmingham City University Students’ Union and its Sikh Society hosted the ‘Langar on Campus’ in the Atrium at Millennium Point on Tuesday.
‘Langar on Campus’ is an event organised by Sikh students in universities all across the world, where students, staff and community members from all backgrounds come together and eat.
Everyone sits on a carpet together at the same level – signifying equality – and only vegetarian food is served so that no one is excluded.
This was the fifth time a large-scale “langar” has been held at Birmingham City University and the first in over two years since the outbreak of the pandemic.
Over 500 people from across the city enjoyed the hot meal and gained a greater insight into the Sikh faith, the university said in a press release on Thursday.
President of Birmingham City University’s Sikh Society, Rajveer Singh, said: “Our Sikh Society was delighted to hold our fifth ‘Langar on Campus’ Event. It is always a joy to welcome people of all backgrounds to this communal celebration of oneness and equality.
“But this year’s event was particularly poignant as it is the first time we have gathered in such numbers since the outbreak of the COVID pandemic. We sincerely hope everyone enjoyed the event as much as we did.”
Langar originated in 15th century Punjab. It was the concept of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism and the first of the 10 Sikh Gurus. It was designed to uphold the principle of equality as a sovereign kitchen where everyone eats together, regardless of religion, caste, colour, creed, age, gender or social status.
Langars are often attached to gurdwaras, a place of worship for Sikhs. Traditionally, everyone shares the tasks of preparation, cooking, serving and cleaning in the langar, and food is donated from members of the local community.