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Birmingham City University host biggest Langar on campus
By Sophie Hack
Birmingham City University hosted Birmingham’s biggest Langar on Thursday 24 February. The staggeringly large pop-up kitchen fed around 1,000 people in Millennium Point, Birmingham.
‘Langar on Campus’ is an event organised by Sikh students across the UK, including the University of Nottingham, University of Birmingham and University of Liverpool to name a few.
Jas Singh and Symran Kaur, who share the role of vice president of the BCU Sikh Society, told us about how preparations for the Langar started in the summer of 2016. Jas said: “planning for the Langar was right from the get go, because we knew it would be the biggest event of our society.
“Last year was the first Langar that BCU hosted, with this year’s we wanted to maintain the success, and I think we achieved that.”
Food commonly served at Gurdwara’s include samosas, sabji, chapatis, lentil soup and parkoras. The British Organisation for Sikh Students assisted with the food, carpets and serving facilities at the event, helping open the doors to a multitude of faiths, races and religions. Due to the harsh weathers of storm Doris, the Langar was arranged for inside Millennium Point, instead of in a tent outside of campus.
“I think most people were shocked that the food was free!” Jas and Symran agreed. Jas continued: “Anyone can go into any Gurdwara and won’t feel judged and can get a free meal. We really wanted to bring that concept to the university.”
Jaspreet Singh, Birmingham City University Students’ Union’s Student Experience Vice President explained: “The Langar means sharing with each other despite of all religious, racial and ethnic differences. The Langar was started by the first Guru Nanak Dev Ji.
“Langar can mean sharing of ideologies, sharing of good practices and sharing of food. The students sit on a carpet together on a same level which signifies despite of all religious, cultural, ethnic, caste and money differences we are equal.”
Reception for the Langar has been “overwhelming” commented Jas. The biggest Indian publication The Hindustan Times reported on the event, as well as ITV News and other international papers.
Jas said that as Sikhs: “we are taught to be selfless and to serve others, we don’t take any coverage for granted! We’re happy and proud of the coverage we have but we didn’t expect any reward from hosting the Langar.”
The next Langar will be held on Aston University campus on Wednesday 8 March from 10am to 4pm.