In celebration of the 550th birthday of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the founder of the Sikh faith, Leicester’s De Montfort University (DMU) hosted a photo exhibition last week.
The display, which was showcased at Trinity House Chapel at DMU from Tuesday 8 October to Thursday 10 October, commemorated the life and philosophy of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, with contributions from experts on Sikhism that highlighted the founder’s core values and the relevance of his messages in the 21st century.
The touring exhibition is part of year-long celebrations around the world.
There was also a commemorative tree planting on the university campus, led by Interim Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor, Dr Simon Oldroyd.
Ms. Happy Guptan said: “It is with great pleasure that we are bringing this exhibition to De Montfort University, offering the people of Leicester an opportunity to come together and reflect on the significance of Guru Nanak’s life and philosophy.
“We have delved into both written sources and into oral history to retell some much-recounted episodes from Guru Nanak’s lifetime – from his childhood and incredible journeys across South Asia and into the Middle East, to his final years in the Punjab, where he founded the Sikh faith.”
Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji was born in 1469 AD in the village of Rai Bhoe Talwandi, now the site of Gurudwara Nankana Sahib in Pakistan. Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji was the first of the 10 Sikh Gurus. The last Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, said that there would be no more Gurus after him and Sikhs would be guided by the Sikh holy book, Guru Granth Sahib.
The exhibition was officially opened by Shri Manmeet Singh Narang, Minister (Coordination) High Commission of India in London, and Ms Happy Guptan Consul (Community Affairs) of India in Birmingham. Other local Sikh dignitaries, members of the business community and representatives from other faiths were also present.
DMU’s Interim Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor, Dr Simon Oldroyd said: “Being based in Leicester, one of the UK’s most multicultural cities, we take great pride in welcoming students from diverse backgrounds and this is highlighted in the recognition we have received for encouraging social inclusion.
“It is therefore an honour to be hosting this exhibition to mark the 550th birthday of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, which we hope will bring people from all cultures and religions together, and create a better understanding of Sikhism.”
The exhibition, which has toured selected cities across the UK, has also been chosen for a showcase at the European Parliament headquarters in Brussels on Tuesday 15 October.