Friday, August 12, 2016

Sikh services in Mexico City?

About a month ago a friend from Toronto (well, he's from Montreal, but was livig in TO when we met) visited (for the first time! yay!) this humongous and complex monster that Mexico City is. And despite the size of the city and the language barrier, he did quite some adventurous and successful exploring! Including... finding the one Gurdwara (a Sikh temple) in the city! Me being curious me, asked if I could join, as I had been to a Sikh temple before (at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India), but had never been to Sikh services. Him being a typically open Canadian, agreed, and so I found myself in my first Sikh service ever! In my own home city!

Being my first one, and without serious study of the religion, it's hard to describe what I saw and heard. This group dressed white, although my friend explained to me this is optional and depends on each group. You need to cover your head, and take off your shoes. There is a lot of music and singing. There is reading from their sacred book. 

Curiously, my friend had the vague feeling that the more usual northern Indian rhythms sounded somewhat Christianized at this one Gurdwara, as well as some of the messages that were given during service. Then again, it's hard to think of a religious minority smaller than this one in Mexico... could it be that the Catholic background of the vast majority of the population (including, probably, most converts to Sikhism here) could have influenced some practices and language by sheer force of numbers?

Anyhow, I was very happy to attend and get to know if only just a tad more about my friend's and the Sikh community's experience. I'm afraid the video below is really bad, as I was trying to be as unobtrussive as possible. 

It is weird how, by now, I have been in Buddhist, Taoist, Hindu, Catholic, Russian Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, Muslim and Sikh services, yet have yet to be at a Jewish one... Ironic much?

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