The Sikh religion has an estimated population of 30 million worldwide, with approximately 70,000 in Thailand. In Phuket, there are about 30 Sikh families, and the Sikh gurdwara on Suthat Road, diagonally opposite the Phuket Provincial Land Office, is the only Sikh religious place of worship on the island.
Phuket Governor Phakaphong Tavipatana will act as ceremonial chairman for the events at the gurdwara where he will be joined by representatives from the Phuket office of the Ministry of Culture, Phuket Provincial Police Commander Pol Maj Gen Rungrote Thakurapunyasiri, Phuket Town Police Chief Col Somphong Thipaphakul, Phuket Rajabhat University President Asst Prof Dr Hiran Prasarnkarn, and Phuket City Mayor Somjai Suwansupana.
The programme is as follows:
09:15 am – Phuket Thai Sikh community assembles outside Chatuchak Market in Phuket Town, the starting point for the religious procession.
10:11am – The religious procession proceeds along the determined route.
10:45am – The ceremonial chairman and other dignitaries arrive at the gurdwara.
10:50am – The religious procession arrives at the gurdwara.
11:01am – The ceremonial chairman welcomes the holy scripture to be enshrined upon the holy throne on the 3rd floor.
11:10am – Hymn singing.
11:25am – Honorary Advisor to the Sri Guru Singh Sabha Association Nai Mitr Singhsachakul welcomes the ceremonial chairman and other dignitaries, and board member Nai Sharan Singhsachakul briefly narrates the origin and basics of Sikhism.
11:35am – The ceremonial chairman gives a speech.
11:45am – Sri Guru Singh Sabha Association’s President Nai Gurmeet Sachdeva hands over mementos and souvenirs to dignitaries.
11:55am – Eulogy of the One God continues with the Song of Bliss followed by Ardas, the Sikh supplication prayer.
12:11pm – The akhand paath (non-stop ceremonial scriptural recitation) of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib scripture begins and continues for three days and two nights until completion.
12:20pm – Sri Guru Singh Sabha Association donates 20 wheelchairs to Vachira Phuket Hospital.
12:30pm – A communal vegetarian meal is served in the dining hall downstairs.
In explaining the significance of the anniversary, Sri Guru Singh Sabha Association’s President Nai Gurmeet Sachdeva said, “Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji received a revelation from God and went on a mission to spread his religious dharma throughout South Asia and the Middle East. He preached a doctrine of a simple way of life, pure and truthful, to be in the spirit of selfless service while also earning an honest living. He preached oneness of mankind above gender, race, religion and nationality, stressing that no one is an enemy, no one is a stranger.
“He also preached how to rightly channel the five passions of lust, anger, greed, emotional attachment and pride by ever abiding in the awareness of our common father and creator in every moment of consciousness. Sikhism believes in the law of karma and reincarnation as well.”
The events are also significant as they mark the first time in 11 years that the Thai-Sikh community has held a large, public procession. The last procession of this kind took place in 2008 to mark the The last procession of this kind took place in 2008 to mark the 300 year anniversary of the installation of the Guru Granth Sahib scripture as the eternal guru of the Sikhs.