Dubai: People representing almost half of the world ate together in Dubai on Thursday morning and achieved a Guinness World Record for most number of nationalities having a continental breakfast.
The UAE’s unity in diversity was on display when residents of 101 nationalities in their traditional outfits took part in the “Breakfast for Diversity” initiative organised by the Gurudwara Gurunanak Darbar, a place of worship of the Sikh congregation in Dubai.
The one hourlong breakfast was eaten together by over 600 people including schoolchildren, diplomats, government officials and people from different walks of life. However, only 101 participants representing each of their country officially entered the Guinness Book of World Records.
Hoda Khachab, records manager with Guinness World Records MENA, who adjudicated the bid told Gulf News that the participants in the Gurudwara’s attempt broke the record of 55 nationalities having a continental breakfast that was organised by Nutella at the Milan Expo in Italy, on September 13, 2015. The record had been organised as part of the promotional activities for the brand across Italy.
The new record by the gurudwara, which is known for serving free meals to all visitors through its community kitchen, was organised as part of its Year of Giving initiative in the UAE and marked the Sikh New Year Baisakhi, said Surender Singh Kandhari, chairman of the Gurunanak Darbar.
“The UAE is the only country in the world where almost 200 nationalities are living in peace and harmony. If all the countries follow this, there won’t be any problem in the world. In Sikhism, we also promote equality and we believe there is God in every human being. This event is a testament of our support to the cause of selfless giving and acceptance,” he told Gulf News.
Indian Ambassador to the UAE Navdeep Singh Suri, who was the chief guest, said: “It is important for the Sikh people to share what they earn, a concept that fits beautifully into the Year of Giving initiative. Even as we celebrate diversity this morning, we also set into motion a separate movement wherein different sections of the Indian community participate in the Year of Giving and contribute to the less fortunate members of the community.”
The UAE was represented by Sabah Al Balooshi, operations manager at a popular hotel in Dubai. “I really like it because it is not only talking. We are actually showing that we [Emiratis] really support all religions, faiths and nationalities in the country. Almost 80 per cent of Dubai are expats and we really want to be together with all like a family.”
Al Balooshi said her best friends are Punjabis. “Every Baisakhi I make sure to come to the gurudwara and do prayers with their families. This time it is very special and really different.”
Natalie Morozova from Belarus, who runs a sweets shop in Ajman, said she was proud that her daughter Kseniya, 7, one of the youngest official participants, could become a Guinness World Record holder. “The spirit of the place with so many nationalities eating together was amazing. We are proud to represent our country in this wonderful country.”
Sherley Constant from Mauritius, a receptionist at a spa, said: “People from different countries eating the same food together is a wonderful experience. The UAE is making everyone become one. I am happy to be in this country.”