Hong Kong, Nov 7 (SocialNews.XYZ) As Sikhs world over gear up to celebrate Guru Nanak Jayanti on Tuesday, the only Gurdwara in Hong Kong has reopened its doors after a HK$230 million (Rs 2.4 billion) makeover.
The 553rd birth anniversary of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev falls on November 8, and will be celebrated with fanfare at the Khalsa Diwan Sikh Temple in Wan Chai district, which reopened after five years.
With a larger three-storey building to accommodate the growing Sikh population in Hong Kong, the renovated temple is now equipped with a medical centre, bigger congregation hall and a kitchen to serve around 3,000 people, the South China Morning Post reported.
"The temple is not just a religious facility, it's very much a part of the social life for Hong Jong's 15,000-odd Sikhs," Gurdev Singh Ghalib, the building committee convenor, told RTHK News.
Sikhs are one of many religious minority groups living in Hong Kong. The city's Sikh community, now 15,000-strong, traces its roots to the beginning of the 20th century.
The temple, designed in India, was renovated with the help of donations by Hong Kong's Sikh community.
It will also provide Punjabi and Cantonese language classes to help Indian immigrants adjust to the city, and foster a sense of cultural belonging.
The gurdwara was built in 1901 by the Sikh members of the British Army Regiment stationed in Hong Kong.
The temple "sustained significant damage when it was bombed in the 1940s during the Asia-Pacific War", the South China Morning Post reported.
During the war, both Sikhs and non-Sikhs sought refuge in the temple, and after the war came to an end, these groups came together to rebuild the temple, the report said.