Langar- A tradition that knows no boundary of cast and religion

As the first rays of sun descend over earth, the volunteers in gurdwaras gear up to prepare the first meal of the day. The volunteers- cutting across the different socio-economic identities participate in the service which essentially comprise preparing food for all who visit the holy place. Even the tourists coming from foreign countries love to offer their services at Langar and no matter how small or big the work is, they do it happily and devotedly. Golden temple, the holiest Sikh shrine in the Amritsar city of Punjab runs the biggest community kitchen in India, known as Ramdas community Kitchen where an estimated 5,000 people are indulged in this selfless service. The Langar runs 24x7 and feeds around 1, 00,000 people every day, who sit together in queues, and enjoy the food served to them. The tradition of Langar is said to be started by Guru Nanak Dev, the first guru of Sikhs, during the time when caste system had created a permanent divide in the people of the society. It helped in providing a common place where people, irrespective of their gender, religion or caste could sit and dine together, thereby upholding the idea of equality. The tradition was later imbibed and honored by all the successors of Guru Nanak Dev. Today every Gurudwara has this langar service and anyone irrespective of caste and the community can contribute to this service.