- Topics & Settings
On Sundays, there are Punjabi classes offered at the Gurdwara. These classes generally start about a half hour after worship begins, and let out in time for the final twenty minutes of worship, followed by Langar. Classes focus on Punjabi language, but also teach lessons on history and culture. The classes are free and open to all, although the students are primarily young children who are divided into two groups by age. Once class lets out, children join the rest of the community in the Divan hall. Some students take their Punjabi worksheets with them, working on them during the service.
Though the school primarily caters to younger children, there is currently one student who does not fit that mold. Rajin, a law student at the University of Minnesota, is the son of a Sikh mother and an Episcopalian father. He found the Gurdwara through a friend from his Bhakara (a style of Punjabi dance) troop when he was seeking out Punjabi language lessons. One of the board members at the Gurdwara, who coordinates the Sunday school, willingly volunteered to give Rajin weekly one-on-one lessons during Sunday worship. For Rajin, "empowerment through knowledge is fundamental to Sikhism," which is why classes are so frequently offered at Gurdwaras throughout the world. "There’s this traditional concept in Sikhism of education and knowledge, of seeking understanding." Though Rajin came to the Gurdwara, "mostly for language learning purposes," he has since become quite involved in the community.