The Sikh Education Council facilitated a weekend of Sikh Studies for young Sikhs in Frankfurt, Germany, this past weekend. Tutors from the UK visited the European city where a large proportion of Germany’s Sikh Diaspora resides, to deliver a number of lectures and to lead students in introductory learning exercises. Over 40 students attended over two days and networked with one another as well as benefit from the educational activities.
The lectures centred around a chronological timeline of Sikh history, taking time to expand upon specific topics such as the Anand Karaj and personalities including Bhai Maharaj Singh. A selection of shabads from the Guru Granth Sahib were explored taking into account differing interpretations and providing students with basic tools to analyse Gurbani both as individuals and within a Sangat.
Attendees comprised of both high school and University students as well as young professionals, all sharing the common experience of speaking German as their first language. Council tutors were able to converse with them in Punjabi, a language which the young German Sikhs have a good grasp of.
Students were introduced to the sensitivities involved with transporting Sikh history, culture and ideology as it is written in both Punjabi and English, into a new medium such as German. However, they were encouraged to continue doing so for their own personal development and to serve the wider Sangat and future generations.
Last summer, members of the Sikh Education Council had traveled to Frankfurt to introduce the field of Sikh Studies and explain the need for western-based Sikhs to understand the Sikh way of life through a more formalised approach. We are delighted to have been invited to return so early in the year and look forward to strengthening our relationship with the German Sangat in the near future, and most importantly enhancing Sikh Studies amongst the community there.