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When stranger become friends 2

Encountering people of faith: Sikhism and Judaism

What were we trying to achieve?

Participants were given the opportunity to:

  • engage in dialogue in relation to matters of faith and belief, both within and across, faith boundaries.
  • experience listening to music in the diwan, eating food in the langar at the gurdwara, writing Hebrew and examining Jewish artefacts
  • compare and contrast two places of worship and their holy books

Who was involved?

150 pupils with a wide range of abilities, mostly from years 5 and 6 with 50 teachers, teaching assistants and other adults. Pupils were drawn from eight schools in rural and urban locations, mono and multicultural settings.


A working group of teachers met to carry out detailed planning regarding risk assessment and activities. All participants were briefed regarding dress and protocols at both places of worship and staff explained about food in the langar. Each school was allocated a partner with whom they worked on some activities.

How did we organise the learning? When stranger become friends 2

The day began at the gurdwara and focused on respect for difference. After covering heads and removing shoes, pupils silently entered the diwan hall, bowing as a mark of respect to the Guru Granth Sahib. After a brief introduction, pupils had an opportunity to ask questions. During this time, they witnessed worshippers enter the diwan hall, bow in front of the Guru Granth Sahib, make an offering and receive Karah Prashad. They experienced the musicians playing and singing a Sikh hymn before being invited to look closely at the holy book.

Lunch was eaten in the langar where everyone sat on the floor to eat. Served joyfully by members of the gurdwara, this experience gave the children an opportunity to think about the meaning of service. Although the food was very different from their normal diet, many welcomed a second helping!

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