Dubai: Over 550 school children from the UAE attended the ongoing four-day 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, founder of Sikh religion at Guru Nanak Darbar on Wednesday.
The vibrant, colourful event had a medley of music, short movies and motivational talks, all drawn up to entertain and inspire young students on the eve of the Indian Children’s day which falls on November 14.
The highlight of the event was the presentation of a synchronised medley of hymns in praise of Allah, Ram, Jesus, Guru Nanak and the Sikh concept of the oneness of humanity, by nearly 50 children of the Dubai Private School. The presentation which received a standing ovation from the audience, touched everyone’s heart and was a fitting tribute to the sentiments of tolerance, harmony and peaceful coexistence.
Prominent Arabic singer Yasir Habib’s bilingual song in Punjabi and Arabic presented in a video display was appreciated by all. Two short movies on the life and teachings of Guru Nanak, outlined the philosophy of Guru Nanak and his principles of compassion, empathy and humanity.,
Sardarni Avneet Kaur, a female Sikh priest from Delhi, a life coach and motivational speaker eulogised the true meaning of tolerance as taught by Guru Nanak and gave an engaging talk to students focussed on maintaining a postiive outlook and warding off mental health isues.
Surendra Singh Kandhari, chairman and founder of the Gurudwara, felicitated the chief guests. Distinguished guests included dignitaries Dr Ahmed bin Sheikh Ahmed Al Shaibani, Managing Director of the International Institute of Tolerance, Brigadier Ahmed Khalfan Al Mansouri, Secretary General for Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for World Peace, Dr Sohail Raza, Director of Interfaith Relations, Krishna Prakash Dhakal, the Nepalese Ambassador to UAE and the Pavan Kapoor, the newly appointed Indian Ambassador to the UAE.
Kapoor who is yet to present his official credentials to the Dubai Government was attending his first event in Dubai in his official capacity.
In his tribute to the Sikh community in the UAE, Kapoor said : “Guru Nanak Dev ji was a great soul who worked for the welfare of humanity throughout his life. His teachings of turth, compassion, kindness and love are especially relevant today when there is conflict and confrontation in society due to perceived differences in status, religion, nationality or ideology.” Praising the ethics of the Sikh community he added : “There are a 100,000 Sikhs in the UAE and they are known to be enterprising, hardworking and honest people who are doing very well in upholding their religion and beliefs and disseminating the message of compassion, tolerance and brotherhood through the Gurudwara.”
Kandhari thanked the rulers for their generosity and magnanimous gesture of providing the land to construct the Sikh temple which has become a seminal place of worship for many Indians.