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A sacred Sikh wedding

Last weekend, we attended a Sikh wedding of a friend from our university days in Penang. The ceremony took place in two Sikh temples (called Gurdwara Sahib) - one in the mainland of Penang and the other in Kampar, a small town in the state of Perak.  A three day event, the beautiful wedding showed us the distinct customs & traditions of the Punjabi people. 

At the ceremony hall
The bride & groom dressed in traditional costumes that were made in Punjab state in India. A devout Sikh, our friend S wears the Five Ks (in Punjabi known as pañj kakkē or pañj kakār), or articles of faith, at all times. The 5 items include uncut hair, small comb, circular iron bracelet on the right wrist, dagger, and special undergarment. For symbolic reasons, S carried a special dagger during his wedding.
The groom's headgear. I love their orange theme!
 
The gorgeous bride adorned her hands & feet with intricate henna patterns.
Receiving the bride
After the prayer ceremony at the first temple, the entourage proceeded to the bride’s house to receive the bride officially. Some lighthearted moments.
Inside the temple
Worship and prayers were the most important part of the ceremony. The reading of the scriptures from the holy book took 48 hours.
Certain conducts are observed inside a Gurdwara. Men & women are required to cover the head inside the temple. When Sikhs enter the prayer hall, they touch the ground before the holy scripture with their foreheads.
Guests were served with six meals a day at the communal hall of the temple. Relatives & friends of the couple sacrificed their sleep to help out in preparing food.
The men & women took on different responsibilities of dishing out food, clearing them and cleaning the communal hall. The moment someone took up a broom to sweep the floor, the others would join in voluntarily. The spirit of serving is conspicuous!
Throughout the wedding, we witnessed a strong community sense amongst the Sikh community. Like a close-knit extended family, respect and affection are shown generously to each other. As their guests, we were deeply touched not only by their closeness but also their genuine hospitality.
Thanks S, for having us there. We were happy to share the joy of your beautiful wedding.

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