WASHINGTON: An interfaith Choir attended by 2,000 people featured a SO member Sikh Kirtani Jatha and the holy shabads ‘were amongst the unique and beautiful sounds which resounded amongst the marble walls of the Immaculate Conception National Shrine on November 14.

The annual event was sponsored by the Inter Faith Conference of Metropolitan Washington. The music varied from traditional choral anthems to rousing Jewish folk songs, the delightful singing and choreography of a Mormon youth choir and the stirring rendition of an Afro-American ritual by a black gospel choir.

Dr. Arthur M. Flemming a former Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, and Chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil rights, in his opening remarks stated that the concert was an outstanding illustration of the Interfaith Conference’s work.

The Inter Faith Conference seeks to promote better understanding amongst adherents of various faiths. It has representatives of the Jews, Mormons, Muslims, Protestants and Roman Catholic. The Sikhs have an observer status in the Conference.

The concert is an annual fund raising event of the body. It has become increasingly popular and it ended with all the audience and participants joining together in the choir.

Rajwant Singh the director of the Sikh Jatha who is also the Secretary of the Guru Gobind Singh Foundation in Maryland and had coordinated the Sikh activities said, “Although the majority of hymns in the Guru Granth ‘Sahib give the message of equality and brotherhood of mankind, the shabad sung by us was composed by Guru Arjun Dev Ji. The shabad was Tu mera pita tu hain mera mata, tu mere jee pran sukh data.

The Haward choir also sung a hymn which coincided with the meaning of the shabad.

Ms. Amrit Kaur, the assistant secretary of G.G.S.F said we really felt great about it, because it was really benificial to work with a larger group. The gathering she said, was an illuminating example that in the galaxy of God, we all are like stars shining with his light.

Rajwant Sing pointed out that, last year there were 23 participants and this year there were 50 men, women and children who practiced for more than two and a half months. He said he could not remember of such a large kirtani jatha of the Sikhs performing in America.

Article extracted from this publication >> December 2, 1988