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Lodi Sikh Temple to have grand opening Sunday

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Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2007 10:00 pm

After a year's delay in getting final approval by San Joaquin County officials, the Lodi Sikh Temple will mark the grand opening of its new hall on Sunday with a parade and service.

Services have been held in a smaller building, but they will now move to a new building that can hold an estimated 400 people, according to Harnam Singh, the head priest at the Lodi temple the past three years. He expects 800 or more people to attend the special parade, which will be limited to the perimeter of the grounds at Armstrong Road and West Lane.

The community - including those who aren't Sikhs - is welcome to attend.

The grand opening will actually begin at 11 a.m. Friday, when members of the congregation read the Sikh holy book cover to cover, which takes about 48 hours, Singh said.

The one-hour parade will begin between 9 and 9:30 a.m., he said, and the service will begin between 11 and 11:30 a.m.

The service will include speakers who will explain what Sikhism is and what Sikhs' religious beliefs are.

When visitors enter the new temple Sunday, they will see an elaborate 10-foot-long model of the Golden Temple in Punjab, India.

The model temple has a white marble plaza and is made of artificial gold that is lighted from inside. The real temple is made of solid gold, Singh said.

There will be free food, which Sikhs describe as "langar," available to the community.

One of the tenets of the Sikh faith is to help victims of natural disasters, Singh said. So the temple is collecting contributions for Southern California wildfire victims, he said.

This elaborate 10-foot-long model of the Golden Temple in Punjab, India is made of white marble and artificial gold that is lighted from the inside. It is located at the entrance to the new Sikh temple at West Lane and Armstrong Road. (Brian Feulner/News-Sentinel)

• 15,000 Sikhs live in the greater Sacramento area.
• The first Sikh temple in the United States was built in Stockton in 1912.
• It is the world's fifth-largest religion, with 26 million followers worldwide.
• It originated more than 500 years ago in India.
• It is a distinct religion, having no links with Hinduism or Islam.
• Sikhs have lived in the U.S. for more than 100 years.
• 83,000 Sikh soldiers died during World Wars I and II.
• They wear turbans to cover long, uncut hair. Turbans are made of cloth about 15 feet long and wrapped neatly around the head every time it is put on. Turbans symbolize discipline, integrity, humility and spirituality.
Source: infoaboutsikhs.com.

Singh is one of four priests at the Lodi temple. The others are Dhram Singh, Ronak Singh and Satbal Singh. In the United States, men give themselves the last name of Singh, and women use the last name of Kaur, according to Harnam Singh.

The lead priest was born July 4, 1943, in India and came to the United States in 1997 because of all the Sikh communities in the area. He lived at the Stockton Temple as a priest for five years and in Santa Rosa for two years before coming to Lodi in 2004.

He lives with his wife, Amarjeet Kaur. They have three married children in India and five grandchildren.

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

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  • posted at 7:21 am on Sun, Nov 25, 2007.


    Rodiant: What does it matter? Christianity grew, in part, out of Judaism. Islam, in part, grew out of Christianity and Judaism. Who cares if Sikhism, in some part, grew out of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism?

  • posted at 12:22 pm on Sat, Nov 24, 2007.


    Hey a sikh, you know as well as I do that Guru Nanak took Islamic terms and redefined them to suit his call. For example, Nanak redefines Qiyamat, meaning the Last Day in Islamic terminology, to refer to a transformation of man, after which he is established in permanent union with God. Your religion frowns upon liars and I know you would not do so intentionally. My former Sikh boss openly admitted, after discussing this issue with him personally, that "if my religion does come from Islam then I am OK with that.

  • posted at 5:18 pm on Fri, Nov 23, 2007.


    We do not discriminate anyone and we are not terrorists...we welcome anyone to the prayer services and yes we are working on a flag pole...

  • posted at 6:05 pm on Thu, Nov 22, 2007.


    Just because a muslim laid the foundation stone does not mean we do not have a distinct religion, this is the spirit of sikhism that we can see beyond our own identity and recognise a oneness with all. The sovereignity of the sikh doctrine is elicited by the twin doctrine of guru-granth guru-panth, sufism is the true form of islam.

  • posted at 4:17 am on Thu, Nov 22, 2007.


    I wonder whether so called "native lodian" has a flag above the cross in his church? Maybe he is a terrorist? Better call homeland security!!!!

  • posted at 4:15 am on Thu, Nov 22, 2007.


    nativelodian: Have you noticed that the Methodists don't have a flag over their Church? You better run and call Homeland Security! They might be a threat!

  • posted at 6:44 am on Wed, Nov 21, 2007.


    these guys that everyone hates sound like they did alot for america which probably more then all the meth and cranks and alcoholic bloggers who are going to throw obscene remarks at them and mostlikly try to ruin there parade. I see everywere mexican flag over the american but no one does or says nothing to them..It just reminds me of the deaf.dumb.blind hate.

  • posted at 5:41 am on Wed, Nov 21, 2007.


    in good faith they need to fly the american flag. if not it is suspect and makes me extremely nervous, like home land security needs to be an eye on

  • posted at 5:16 am on Wed, Nov 21, 2007.


    Wow...I really like the model of the Golden Temple. Its beautiful!! I just want to welcome the new Temple to the community. Its such a joy to see such diversity in Lodi.

  • posted at 5:02 am on Wed, Nov 21, 2007.


    Neat model!!!

  • posted at 3:09 am on Wed, Nov 21, 2007.


    Does that article claim Sikhism is a distinct religion, having no links with Islam? In December 1588, the great muslim Sufi saint of Lahore, Hazrat Mian Mir, who was a close friend of Guru Arjan Dev Ji, initiated the construction of the holy temple, Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar in the state of Punjab, India, by laying the first foundation stone. Guru Saab took many ideas from Sufi Saab to formulate the Sikhism we know today.



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