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Australian federal parliament to celebrate Guru Nanak's 550th birthday

Guru Nanak's 550th birth anniversary to be celebrated in Australian federal parliament

Politicians, dignitaries, guests from various countries and speakers from different faith groups will come together in Parliament House, Canberra on October 21 to celebrate the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism.

As the landmark birth anniversary of Guru Nanak draws closer, various events have been organised in almost every country around the world, and Australia is no different. 

In what appears to be a first in the nation's history, the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak will be celebrated in the Australian federal parliament later this month.

One of the organisers, Harkirat Singh Sandhar told SBS Punjabi, "Since this is a landmark celebration, its only befitting that it is held in the highest institution of Australia. We hope the Prime Minister can join us, and we already have confirmation from 18 MPs."

The celebration will have a strong multifaith and multinational aspect.

"Apart from dignitaries from Australia and India, there will be guests from many other nations. Furthermore, speakers of Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Nepali backgrounds will share their reflections about the universal teachings of Guru Nanak," said Mr Sandhar.

Guests are expected from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, and arrangements have already been made for a bus shuttle from Sydney to Canberra on the day.

"The highlight for us is that children and the younger generation will participate actively in this celebration. They will MC the event, recite the Mool Mantar (the first verse from the Sikh holy scriptures) and present a translation in English. They will also sing shabad-kirtan (hymns)," he added.

The organisers say seating is limited, but people can still register their interest if they'd like to attend. 

The first celebration of Guru Nanak's birthday at Australian Parliament House, Canberra
The first celebration of Guru Nanak's birthday at Australian Parliament House, Canberra

Apart from this, many other events have been planned in all major Australian cities, to mark the landmark celebrations of Guru Nanak's birth anniversary.

To hear this interview, please click on the audio link above.

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