1979 Incorporation of Okanagan Sikh Temple & Cultural Society
1982 Opening of first Sikh Temple of Kelowna
2002 First Punjabi School started
2008 Opening of New Facility for Sikh Temple.
2009 Bhangra School
2009 Senior Centre
2010 Vaisakhi Parade
The Okanagan Sikh Temple and Cultural Society was incorporated in November 1979. At that time there were 34 Sikh families in the area. The first temple in Kelowna was opened on May 30, 1982. In the eighties, the majority of the Sikh families worked in the agricultural industry.
In the mid ninety’s the Sikh population had grown substantially and a new facility was required. In 2003 plans for the new temple were drawn up. In the following year the construction of the new facility began which was largely done on a volunteer basis.
On April 26, 2008 the new building was open to the public. The Sikh community now thrives in all industries whether it be professional, business, politics or farming.
As the population grew there came a demand for religious education and cultural activities for the youth to meet the needs a Punjabi school was created in 2002. Classes are held every Sunday at the Old Sikh Temple building. It serves all age groups with Sikh studies. It’s mission is to instill understanding of Sikh religion, its beliefs, values, and customs among young Sikh children. It accomplishes this through the teaching of the Punjabi language and Gurmukhi script so that they are able to read and understand the Sikh culture. In addition to this they also learn about the Sikh history and Kirtan, the Sikh devotional music.
The Senior Centre was created in 2009 where the seniors can meet and be involved in volunteer activities. A place for seniors to gather any day of the week.
Bhangra School was opened for girls and boys to learn traditional Punjabi dance.
As of 2010 the Sikh community held its first Vaisakhi Parade which marks the Birth of Khalsa. This festival bears a great significance to all Sikhs. The Sikh community has come a long way and are proud to be a part of this great city.
FOUNDATION OF SIKHISM
Simran (Meditation) & Seva (Service)
It is the duty of every Sikh to practice Naam SIMRAN (meditation on God's name) daily and engage in SEVA (selfless service) whenever there is a possibility- in Gurdwara; in community centre; old people's homes; care centres; major world disasters, etc.
Five Virtues of Sikhism which lead the soul closer to God and away from evil.
1. Sat (Truth)
2. Daya (Compassion)
3. Santokh (Contentment)
4. Nimrata (Humility)
5. Pyare (Love)
THE THREE DUTIES
The three duties that a Sikh must carry out can be summed up in three words; Pray, Work, live.
1. Nam japna: Keeping God in mind at all times.
2. Kirt Karna: Earning an honest living.
3. Vand Chhakna: Sharing one’s earnings by giving to charity and caring for others.
Sikhs try to avoid the five vices that make people self-centred, and build barriers against God in their lives.
1. Kam (Lust)
2. Krodh (Rage)
3. Lobh (Greed)
4. Moh (Attachment)
5. Ahankar (Ego)