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Sikhs celebrate most successful Sikh Environment Day ever - March 14th

March 18, 2016:

This week Sikhs around the world held the most successful Sikh Environment Day ever, with many thousands of people taking positive actions to make the Earth a better more healthy place for people and animals to live. March 14th was chosen as Sikh Vatavaran Diwas (Sikh Environment day) because it marks the New Year in the Sikh calendar and the Gurgaddi Diwas of Sri Guru Har Rai Ji, the Seventh Sikh guru, who is remembered in Sikh history for his deep sensitivity to nature and its preservation.

"There are so many new things happening," said an exhausted and exhilarated EcoSikh Project Manager Ravneet Singh, who has been working on Sikh Environment Day since it began in 2011.

"If anything I can share today would be that the Sri Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple) in Amritsar has now decided to serve organic food," he said.

The kitchen at the Golden Temple feeds more than 100,000 people every day of the year, following the Sikh belief that one should give hospitality to everyone, whatever their faith, their nationality, their need.

It is, effectively, one of the largest kitchens, (or langar), in the world, and the decision of the SGPC management committee to commit to serving organic vegetarian food makes them significant leaders in promoting organic farming throughout India in general, and in Punjab in particular. Read more about organic langar at the Golden Temple.

This exciting initiative in Amritsar is expected to set a benchmark for many others - other Gurdwaras around the world, and many private homes - to serve organic food, and encourage farmers to grow it.

For Sikh Environment Day, EcoSikh has worked with Golden Temple volunteers and staff to invite organic farmers to come and exhibit - to tell their stories and sell organic vegetarian food at the temple.

"So many prayers and a strong team has done it again," Singh said.

On March 14th itself some EcoSikh members and volunteers took organic langar with Shahi Imam from Ludhiana mosque.

"He was happy to join us all at one of the organic farms in Ludhiana where they cooked organic langar and over 70 men women and children had healthy food and actually witnessed how it is produced and how it tastes," Singh said.

In Chandigarh volunteers reported that on Sikh Environment Day organic food stalls were set up in the gurdwara, which never ever happened before. They sold out in an hour, showing that many people are interested in organic food and keeping their families and the Earth more healthy.

Read more about who took part in Sikh Environment Day.


EcoSikh website

Downloadable Sikh Environment toolkit

Read the full text of Liz Carey's report from the Chesapeake Clipper section in the Virginia Pilot, March 9, 2014

Sikh Environment Day 2016 Press Release

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What does Sikhism teach us about ecology?
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A summary of the principal teachings of the Gurus relating to food, including the important practice of the langar, or community kitchen.
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