Gurdwara (the door or the gateway to the Guru) is the name given to the Sikh's place of worship, commonly addressed as Sikh temple in the western world. The Sikh scriptures are recited or sung and sermons are delivered. Guru Granth Sahib is placed on high palanquin under a canopy in the middle of one end of the hall. As well as sermons and the singing of the scriptures, the congregation is expected to participate in the ceremonies of birth, baptism, marriage, death and celebration of festivals.
The Gurdwara is a place for acquiring a spiritual knowledge and wisdom. It is open to every one regardless of age, sex, caste, or creed. Here all men, women and children are treated as equal. It offers shelter and food to any one in need. It provides care for the sick, elderly and handicapped. It is also a center for promoting culture and health. Moral education as well as knowledge of the religion and history is often taught to children in the Sikh temple. The Gurdwara is also a place for discussing problems facing the Sikh community. The Gurdwara plays a socio-economic role in the Sikh community. It is expected to be free from any sectional interests or party politics.
Midwest Sikh Gurudwara
The Sikh community in Kansas City dates from the 1960s. The community was formed with only five families and originally met every Sunday in the homes of members. The community continued to operate out of private homes until 1978, when members began renting building space on Sundays in order to accommodate the expansion of their community. Finally, in 1989, the Kansas City Sikhs completed a Gurdwara (Sikh place of worship) in Shawnee Kansas. In April 2022 the new Gurudwara was completed in Lenexa Kansas and the Sangat happily moved the Guru Granth Sahibs there.
The Gurdwara is a place of worship so the following etiquette should be observed when attending:
- Meat or intoxicants (alcohol, cigarettes, drugs etc.) are not permitted on the Gurdwara premises.
- Heads should be covered at all time (head coverings are available in the entrance foyer).
- Shoes should removed before entering the Divan or Langar Hall and placed in the designated areas.
- Dress modestly when attending the Gurdwara.