Little India in London
Amazingly, Indians must be the largest non-Caucasian ethnic minority in London.
We visited South Hall, which is predominately a Panjabi Sikh community. We got off at the tube station and the signs were in English and Panjabi!
There is a Gurdwara (Sikh Temple) just off the tube station and our friend told us that all are welcome. It was our first time visiting a Gurdwara and I was dusty on my understanding of the Sikh religion. The temple hall reflected an atmosphere of communal meditation with bhajans playing in the background. There were no statues, idols or incense burning, only a Holy Book being the focal point on the altar which in essence represented that the teachings are the ‘guru’. They also had a food offering (prasad) for all who came to the temple. I
did not know this, but in another part of the temple they have a food hall called a Langar where volunteers prepare food to serve to anyone
who wants it anytime. It’s actually a free food kitchen.
We all needed to cover our heads in modesty and Avinash immediately understood the after putting on his headscarf that we were about to enter a temple and was so mindful and observant of our actions and did a wonderful job mimicking us as we knelt at the altar, received prasad and walked through the hall. I love that he knows when to turn the ‘serious’ on and be respectful in places like temples.
I look forward to visiting more Gurdwaras when we get to India and our family getting a better understanding of this religion.