I have now attended my first service at a Gurdwara.
I attended the Austral Gurdwara in Southern Sydney on Sunday the 28th of July. This day was of special significance to me, as it was my 30th birthday.
The day started off cold and rainy, but the weather slowly improved as the day progressed.
I met my guide, Mr. Brar, at the Gurdwara. The service was overseen by the regular leaders of the community and a visiting scholar from the Punjab. Everyone was most friendly and welcoming. I thoroughly enjoyed the service. Although I do not understand Punjabi, my reading on Sikh matters provided me with sufficient background to grasp each phase of the service.
The secretary officially welcomed me during the service and I was most impressed by the Gurdwara. The site currently consists of a main hall and kitchen complex. A new building with expanded facilities is under construction. For a small community it is truly amazing what they, the Sikhs, are accomplishing.
I talked with various people after the service, while I joined them in Langar. I was unfortunate in that my understanding of Punjabi was about the same as the visiting scholarís knowledge of English, e.g. almost nil.
The small size and newness of the community has prevented them from establishing a library. I have been informed that a larger Gurdwara exists and it does have a library. I will be investigating these matters in the near future.
All-in-all it was a good day and gave me a valuable insight into the community and life of the Sikhs. I will most definitely be pursuing my researches in this area.