The annual langar promotes Sikh values of equality and service
Nearly 150 individuals, including members of Congress, gathered on Capitol Hill to participate in the annual Langar hosted by the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF)’s SikhLEAD Internship class and the office of Sen. Chuck Schumer, on July 26.
Langar, a 500-year-old Sikh tradition, seeks to foster unity, eradicate segregation and classicism, and promote food justice.
Lawmakers who attended the langar and shared meals and engaged in dialogue with the Sikh American community included Rep. Judy Chu, D-CA, and Rep. Shri Thanedar, D-MI.
Speaking on the occasion, Kiran Kaur Gill, the Executive Director of SALDEF, emphasized the significance of Langar in the context of the Sikh American experience.
“Sikh Americans have a long history of innovative community engagement and leadership, from the Honorable Dalip Singh Saund who was one of our great pioneers in Congress, to the advocates at SALDEF,” she said. “Having the occasion to share a meal as equals is a strong reminder about the values of equality and universal friendship.”
Despite having a 125-year history in the United States, Sikh Americans still face misconceptions and misunderstandings. Langar on the Hill serves as a vital opportunity to introduce American history and Sikh values, particularly the principle of equality for all. Additionally, it provides the rising generation with a unique platform to express their commitment to deepening civic participation.
The SikhLEAD Internship Program, in collaboration with various congressional and federal offices, offers Sikh American students the chance to embark on careers in public service and community leadership.
SALDEF, the nation’s oldest Sikh American advocacy organization, remains dedicated to empowering Sikh Americans through constructive dialogue, fostering understanding, and promoting civic and political engagement.
The event showcased the spirit of unity and cultural exchange, symbolizing the Sikh community’s ongoing commitment to fostering mutual understanding and cooperation with the broader American society. Langar on the Hill represents a powerful initiative to bridge the gaps and build lasting connections with lawmakers and fellow citizens.