Prime Minister Theresa May greeted the Sikh community on the occasion of Vaisakhi day reception at 10 Downing Street in London….reports Asian Lite News
British Prime Minister Theresa May greeted the Sikh community on the occasion of Vaisakhi day reception at 10 Downing Street in London.
She praised the Sikh charities for helping and supporting people across the country.
She said, “Sikh charities, in particular, are renowned for helping the vulnerable and those in need – from supporting people affected by the Grenfell Tower disaster to assisting and feeding the homeless on our streets in keeping with the Sikh tradition of providing free Langar meals.”
“British Sikhs play a fundamental role in the life of this country – whether it is working hard in business, law, medicine, media, sport, public service or so many other areas,” she added.
Prime Minister’s words to Downing Street Vaisakhi Reception:
“I am delighted to welcome you to Downing Street, and would like to begin by greeting you all with the traditional Sikh saying: Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh….[this translates approximately as “Purity belongs to the creator, and victory belongs to the creator only”]
Today is an opportunity for us to mark Vaisakhi together, and for me to say a huge thank you to our Sikh community for the immense contribution you make to this country.
This month there have been some truly spectacular processions in towns and cities across the country – in places such as Birmingham, Coventry and Southall – and, I am proud to say, as equal in colour and joyfulness as the Vaisakhi festivities that have taken place around the world.
And behind the scenes I know there will have been prayers, thanksgivings, and get-togethers – as family and friends have come together to commemorate the birth of the Khalsa.
Everyday British Sikhs play a fundamental role in the life of this country – whether it is working hard in business, law, medicine, media, sport, public service or so many other areas.
Sikh charities in particular are renowned for helping the vulnerable and those in need – from supporting people affected by the Grenfell Tower disaster to assisting and feeding the homeless on our streets in keeping with the Sikh tradition of providing free Langar meals.
But it is also so much more than this – it is the spirit of togetherness that you see on occasions such as Vaisakhi, the readiness to support all communities and all faiths, and the values that you represent.
This was brought home to me most recently when I visited Gurdwaras in Walsall and in my own constituency of Maidenhead – where, in true Punjabi style, I was given the warmest of welcomes.
And in Walsall I was also presented with a reminder of the enormous debt of gratitude we owe Sikh soldiers for the freedoms we enjoy today – a bust of a Sikh soldier from World War 1.
From the Great War, the Second World War and other military campaigns, to those who serve in the British Army today – Sikh soldiers have fought valiantly to stand up for what is right and to protect our freedoms.
And in return Britain has always regarded the Sikh military tradition with the greatest of respect – a tradition that has its roots in Vaisakhi and the teaching by your faith to fight boldly against injustice and oppression.
Which is why I am so proud that this Government is supporting the efforts to get a National Sikh War Memorial in the heart of London, sending a strong signal that we are a country united in our diversity.
So today, as we celebrate this special occasion, let us also remember the values that bind us together.
For Sikhs, the enduring values of the Khalsa – truth, compassion, hope and renewal.
While for those Hindus celebrating Vaisakhi it is a time for giving thanks and reflecting on the year gone by, and that to come.
I want to wish all of you, and those celebrating around the world, a very happy Vaisakhi.”