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Monday, Apr 14, 2014

Malaysia

It's time for Vaisakhi and Jaya new year

The Star/ANN | Monday, Apr 14, 2014

Indian Sikhs.

PETALING JAYA - Sikhs of all ages will converge on gurdwaras around the country for Vaisakhi which is celebrated by the community today.

Gurdwara Sahib Petaling Jaya member Jasvinder Singh said they were expecting more than 5,000 to attend prayers throughout the day.

Vaisakhi commemorates the establishment of the Khalsa in 1699 by the 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh.

Khalsa refers to all dedicated and initiated Sikhs who adorn themselves with the 5Ks - kesh (unshorn hair), kara (steel wrist ring), kangga (wooden comb), kachhaira (shorts) and kirpan (sword).

This is also when Sikh men took the last name "Singh" and Sikh women the name "Kaur".

The compulsory 48-hour continuous reading of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib also ends today.

Volunteers at gurdwaras have been taking turns to read the holy scripture which has 1,430 pages.

Subsequently a new Nishan Sahib (Sikh flag) will be hoisted at all gurdwaras.

Tamils will also extend a greeting of puthandu valthukal (happy new year) today.

Varisha Piruppu or Puthandu marks the first day of the first month - Chittirai - in the Tamil calendar. The year that begins today is known as the Jaya year.

Traditionally, this is a time for Tamils to don new clothes and visit relatives, especially the elderly.

It is a time for prayers, with families flocking to temples where the panjangam (Tamil almanac) will be read to give a forecast to individuals on what to expect for the new year.

In his message to mark the Indian New Year and Vaisakhi, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak reiterated the Government's commitment to the community towards ensuring a better quality of life.

"In our very own Malaysian tradition, let us join our Indian brothers and sisters in celebrating these special festivals. I take this opportunity to wish Chitirai Putthandu Vaalthukal and Vishu Ashamsakal to the Tamil and Malayali community respectively. To the Sikhs in Malaysia, Aap Sab Nu Vaisakhi Di Lakh Lakh Vadai Hovey," he said.

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