Jasleen Kaur (left, of Progressive Intercultural Community Services) Santokh Singh Lalli and Kewal Singh Nahal go for a nature walk at the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in Surrey. Photograph by Rajan Thind

By Harpreet Johal, Public Engagement Specialist

Last Sunday, we had the honour and pleasure to take our Punjabi by Nature campaign to the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in Surrey. We were happily surprised at how the entire community came together and supported our mission to get people outside in nature.

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It was especially touching to see the importance of getting outdoors in all generations. Many elders shared stories about how they go for walks, ride their bikes, and garden in their backyards. In fact, the majority of elders we spoke with said they usually walk to and from the gurdwara every day, despite their "old knees and legs." They understood that in order to live a long, healthy life, you have to be balanced within yourself, with nature and your community.

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The youngsters were equally excited(see video below). They told us that they prefer playing outside rather than videos games because there are so many fun, outdoor activities. Plus, when they spend some time outside, they can focus better in school.

The Granthi spoke about how nature is connected to the Sikh religion. My favorite quote from the Guru Granth Sahib is just one of many emphasizing this message:

Pavan guru paani pita maata dharat mahat ... "Air is the Teacher, Water the Father, and Earth the Great Mother of all."

It is such a powerful message. And if we respected our earth, water and air like we respect our mother, father and teachers, our planet would definitely be a healthier place to live.

Please join us again Sunday, September 30th, October 7th and October 14th at the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara (7050 120 St, Surrey, BC) at 1pm for a walk in nature. We'll also be in the langar hall from 10am to 1pm providing information about the health benefits of going outside.

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September 26, 2012

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