"Where is that chanting coming from?" I asked Joshua, as we were perusing a popular Sikh temple called the Harmandir Sahib or Golden Temple. We began looking around, trying to find the rhythmic sound of words in unison. Eventually we saw them:
The barefoot crowd was led by the man with the flag. As they passed around the walkway, people bowed their heads in a reverence, while placing their palms together at the same time. The group was about 50 people and not just men, but women and their children.
At the time we were clueless to what was happening. Fortunately we learned that people will travel from villages to the Golden Temple. They will walk for miles together chanting, with the same goal of reaching the temple to partake in the service.
I'm amazed at their dedication. For someone who comes from a nation of many resources, I couldn't fathom walking for miles to go to a temple, even if it was my life-long dream. I guess in my mind I'd find another way to get there! I'm assuming for many of these people, walking is their only option. There also might be something I'm missing here--I'm not Sikh and I don't know much about their practices. It's possible that it's a requirement or maybe even something that shows devotion, so even people with means do it. I'm not sure.
It was a very interesting experience that I don't think I'll forget!