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Celebrating Vaisakhi at HMRC

Category: Religious beliefs, Festival, HMRC, HM Revenue & Customs, Religion, Historical, Sikhism, Hinduism, religious networks, Vaisakhi, Baisakhi

Religious Beliefs.

At HMRC we welcome diverse talent. We have various employee run networks, such as our religious networks, which allow our employees to meet others that may have similar experiences to them. 

The Sikh festival of Vaisakhi (celebrated on either 13 or 14 April every year) is usually a joyous festival ushering in a period of prosperity and spiritual enlightenment, and our Sikh Faith Group (SFG) East Midlands had planned to host an event. However, due to the current climate, this has been cancelled. Instead, we hope to organise an event celebrating the Sikh faith and the culture in the future.

This article will be providing some background and insight into Vaisakhi and its significance for the local and global Sikh community. The word ‘Sikh’ means learner or disciple and the Sikh religion is the fifth largest religion in the world and was founded in India in the 15th Century by Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Guru Nanak Dev Ji set out three principles to be followed by Sikhs.  The key elements link into the divine message of Guru Nanak Dev Ji.

In 1699, Guru Gobind Singh Ji also created an identity for Sikhs with the creation of the ‘Khalsa’ Panth (the Brotherhood of the Pure). This was a key event in the history of Sikhism which is celebrated during Vaisakhi. Sikhs respect Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s memory on Vaisakhi day as he accomplished so much by reforming Sikhism and instituting a new code of law for Sikhs.

Sikhs working in the Community

Generally, Seva is done in many ways by Sikhs, which include making offerings of monetary donations.  This supports the running of Gurdwaras, Projects, Langar, helping in local communities and worldwide efforts in times of crisis. 

To help the needy, Sikhs have set up charities such as ‘Khalsa Aid’ (an international relief organisation to support victims of war, natural disasters and tragic events).

Guru Nanak’s Mission (GNM) in Nottingham is a charity where volunteers offer their time and services to prepare and provide free vegetarian food to the vulnerable and the homeless in Nottingham city centre on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings. The mission has become one of the largest free vegetarian food providers in Nottingham and fulfils one of the hallmarks of Sikhism which is preparing and providing Langar (food) to those who need it. ‘Basics of Sikhi’ (Sikh Educational Platform) and SWAT (Sikh Welfare & Awareness Team) amongst many others provide education on Sikhism.

 

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