Monday, October 31, 2005

S.E.V.A.'s first langar program

The Sikh Española Volunteer Association is committed to helping those who are need in our local community (Española and the surrounding areas) and to raising awareness about the Sikh community. In the spirit of the Sikh tradition of Langar (community kitchen) in which all people share a meal together regardless of religion, race, culture, gender, or social standing, the Sikh Española Volunteer Association worked to prepare a meal to share with the local community. We teamed up with Interfaith L.E.A.P. (Leadership Empowerment for All People) to hold a meal at the John Hyson Family Resource Center in Chimayó. This meal was the first of its kind.
A group of Sikhs worked at the Gurdwara's kitchen starting on Friday evening to prepare the meal. We chopped vegetables and cooked beans. The next morning, Saturday October 29th, volunteers got together to finish preparing the meal. We made enchiladas (Mexican/Spanish casserole), beans (frijoles), and Spanish rice. After the meal was prepared we loaded the food into several cars and said a prayer for the success of the meal.
At the John Hyson center S.E.V.A. served meals for a couple hours. We encountered a smaller number of people than we were expecting. When we packed up there was still plenty of food left. A few of the volunteers then took the majority of the extra food to the Santuario de Chimayó, a local church that is very well-known and has many visitors and pilgrims on any day of the week. After a few hours at this location much of the food was distributed and the day was complete.
We our pleased with the process and result of our first endeavor to serve a community meal. S.E.V.A. looks forward to continuing with our resolve to help the local community and to serve meals in the spirit of the Sikh tradition.

Saturday Langar (free meal)

Serving at the John Hyson center.
A tray of enchiladas with molé (Mexican style).
Serving food and lemonade. From left to right, servers include Nirmal, Pavitar, Guru Jot, Guru Terath, and Prabhu.
Serving food.
The John Hyson community center, which used to be a school.
Some people who came for the meal.
El Santuario de Chimayó, a very sacred place to many people here. The largest pilgrimage in the US is to this chapel around Easter time. The dirt here is known to heal people and so people come and collect dirt from here.
Serving food in the parking lot, to anybody who comes by and would enjoy a meal.
Nice local people who enjoyed the food.

Saturday morning prep work

Pavitar Kaur (foreground) and Sat Gur Prasad Kaur (background) frying tortillas for the enchiladas.
Hari Singh frying tortillas for the enchiladas. Patwinder Kaur and Sat Sundri Kaur discussing the preperation of the rice.
Fried tortillas.
Gurujot Singh (left) and Sat Sundri Kaur (right).
Sita Kaur washing dishes.
Gurujot Singh and Deva Singh preparing enchiladas while Pavitar approaches to help.

Prabhu Singh and Deva Singh reading their banis in the Gurdwara while waiting for the enchiladas to cook.
Nirmal Singh using a big blender on the beans.
Patwinder Kaur (the main chef) giving some direction to Guru Jot while Nirmal Singh mashes the beans.
Hari Singh stirring the beans, while Sat Sundri attends to the rice.
Prabhu Singh stirring the beans. The beans are being heated so that moisture might evaporate.
Gurujot Singh and Prabhu Singh stirring the beans.
Doing an ardaas in the parking lot where we've loaded the food, so that we have success in our service.

Friday night's prep work

Beans cooking in the foreground, people chopping at different stations in the background.
Chopping carrots, bell peppers, and sharpening knives. From left to right: Naam Simran Singh, Dharam Pal Singh, Jagat Singh, Hari Singh.
Nirmal Singh chopping onions.
Himmat Singh.
Dharam Singh.
Sat Gur Prasad Kaur chopping tomatoes.
More chopping.
Gurujot Singh in the foreground and Deva Singh in the background.
Prabhu Singh taking a break and eating.
Deva Singh and Akal Singh in the background.
Ardas Kaur chopping.
The beans cooking.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Spaña Palooza

Spaña (nickname for Española) Palooza was billed as an event for "Community Awareness Education." Community awareness and education are very important to SEVA.

Group photo

Hari, Sita, Rion, Deva, Gurujot, and Prabhu.