Students from Stitches of Tibet visited the Golden Temple, officially known as The Harmandir Sahib, in Amritsar, Punjab during the weekend of March 8-9th. Construction for this Gurdwara, a place of worship for Sikhs, began in the 1500s. In the early 1800s, the Gurdwara was covered in gold, giving it the nickname for which it is most commonly known now- The Golden Temple. This mesmerizing golden clad temple is surrounded by a large lake, or holy tank, which consists of holy water. Anyone is welcome to drink, sprinkle, or swim in the holy water- which all of the students enjoyed doing very much. Unlike other Gurdwaras, this temple was built with four entrances to symbolize that men and women from all religions and cultures are welcome to worship in the temple. Over 100,000 people visit the temple every day. The SOT students were amazed and astounded by the beauty of the temple. Tsiing Paldon remarked: “We enjoyed the Golden Temple very much!” The temple provides meals in their dining hall for anyone who is hungry. Volunteers prepare the donated food, cook, wash dishes, and serve the food to guests every day.
After dinner at the temple, the students went to the Wagah border ceremony at the Pakistan and Indian border. They said the ceremony was very crowded with much dancing. As the sun began to descend, the crowds on each side of the border chanted “Pakistan Zinabad” (Long live Pakistand) and “Hindustan Zindabad” (Long live India) prompted by men using microphones to energize the crowds. Then the Indian soldiers wearing green uniforms and the Pakistan soldiers wearing black provided an entertaining military routine which included kicking their legs all the way to their foreheads. After this energetic display, soldiers from each side shook hands, then simultaneously lowered their respective country’s flags.
The next morning, the women stopped at a nearby town to do some shopping and enjoyed the Shiva festival taking place in the streets. Many people were dancing, singing, and celebrating. The students had fun at the festivities and drank delicious lassis. After traveling by the inexpensive government buses in order to conserve money, they finally arrived home late Saturday night. The women greatly enjoyed participating in both Sikh and Hindu cultures during their weekend trip.