The Sikh community in Maymyo (Pyin Oo Lwin)

The gurdwara in Maymyo (Pyin Oo Lwin)

On the occasion of Guru Govind Singh Jayanti  today (29. December 2022) I went to the Sikh gurdwara in Maymo (Pyin Oo Lwin) for the second time to see the celebration of Guru Govind Singh’s birthday (22. Dec. 1666 – 7. October 1708). On this day, the believers exchange good wishes between family members, friends and gurus. I was told that there are ten Sikh households with about 50 people living in this town. Their gurdwara was founded around 100 years ago. They don’t know much about their history here in Pyin Oo Lwin. The families came from Ludhiana and Patiala (Punjab). They keep close contact with their families back ‘home’. Their business here in Pyin Oo Lwin are car repair, broker, welder etc. – Sikhs have a reputation to be good at all kinds of mechanical works. The people were very friendly and they invited me into their temple on my first visit. As some of you may know, they don’t worship idols but their holy book, the Granth Sahib.

Guru Govind Singh was the tenth and last human guru of the Sikhs, a spiritual master, a warrior, a poet and philosopher. After his father Guru Tegh Bahadur was executed on orders of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb he became his successor at the age of nine. He had four sons, all of them died before him. He founded the Sikh warrior community khalsa and introduced the five ‘K’s: Kesh (unshorn hair and beard), kangha (a wooden comb), kara (a steel bracelet), kachera (cotton undergarments) and kirpan (a small curved sword of any size).  As you may know, all Sikhs bear the name Singh – which means lion. Furthermore, he finalised and enshrined the granth sahib as Sikhism’s primary scripture and eternal guru. After him, there were no more human gurusSikhism developed in the Punjab region of India and they have their own alphabet for the Punjabi language, called Gurmukhi. It is based on the Brahmi script and was developed by the second guru, Angad Dev. For an example pls. see their OM-sign which looks very different from others …

In the prayer hall
The band
Reciting the Granth Sahib
Unique OM sign
A German devotee - I felt like an elderly rock star

Following some videos:

1. uncovering the book

2.  musicians

3. reciting

4. musicians

5. the little drummer boy