The tradition of Langar started by Guru Nanak Dev, still sees being carried forward with much enthusiasm amongst the Sikh community.
It’s no hidden fact that whenever there’s a crisis anywhere in the world, it’s the Sikh community that comes out in open whole heartedly to help. Off late there has been a picture of a food truck that’s run by the Sikh community serving and feeding people in Ukraine. Apart from this in the middle of all this crisis it was also seen that Sikh volunteers were seen distributing 'langar on train'. In a video it’s seen that the members of Khalsa Aid are seen serving food to people while they try to get out of eastern Ukraine on trains.
In a video shared by Ravinder Singh, the CEO and founder of Khalsa Aid he tweeted saying “Langar on Poland-Ukraine Border, Our volunteers continue to serve hot meals & hot drinks ( 24 hours daily ) to those who are escaping war in #Ukraine”, while in the other video he tweeted “#Ukraine: Guru Ka Langar on a train. These guys were fortunate to get on this train which is travelling east of Ukraine to the west (to Polish border ). Hardeep Singh has been providing Langar and assistance to many students from different countries. What a guy”.
This non-profit humanitarian organisation has always been seen in the forefront helping those in need. But flipping through pages of history it’s interesting to know how the whole concept of this community meal called Langar even came into existence.
This is supposed to be started by Guru Nanak Dev, The first Sikh Guru who was the founder of Sikhism. This tradition was Langar was later honoured and carried forward by all his successors. The story goes that when Guru Nanak Dev was child he was given Rs 20 and was asked to do some “Saccha Sauda” (good bargain). Being from a business family his father wanted him to learn the tricks of the trade soon. But what Guru did was in place of any bargain or buying worldly thing he bought food and fed the needy and hungry around him who were there. For him that was real “Saccha Sauda”.
It's also said that Guru Amar Das, the third guru, has even made it a point that no one can meet the guru until they had langar. Some books also say that even Emperor Akbar had to sit for langar before meeting Guru. The Langar which is a simple meal sees a basics like Dal, roti or rice and. It’s really impressive to see how no one leaves empty stomach from a Gurudwara.
It’s really impressive to see how irrespective of anyone’s social status, caste, region or religion no one leaves empty stomach from a Gurudwara. Right from the kitchen to how and who serves the food, there’s no caste barrier that Langar sees. Most time it’s strangers who join hands and decide to work for the same motive, to feed humankind. This tradition is serving free meals is nothing less than an emotion for the community. Today the three main pillars of Sikhism that exists is the reason why Langar coupes an important space amongst the Sikh community.