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> What is a Langar?, Free food in India
starlagurl
post Feb 26 2008, 10:10 AM
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This post is mostly for Josh, because I'm sure he's been to one of these before. So tell us about this...

In India there are things called Langars, basically places in temples where they serve free food to everyone, over 10,000 a day! Wow, I had no idea this could ever happen. I wonder who pays for the food they serve here. I guess it is donated by people who frequent the temple.

They have small setups like this in Canada, I know there was the "G-Spot" (Garden Spot) at my university, open to everyone and anyone, vegan and "Pay what you can", but it was ultimately shut down by administrators.
And then there are always soup kitchens for the homeless, but not there is a stigma attached to these places.

Seeing this on such a grand scale is just incredible...

http://www.worldchanging.com/archives/006211.html

Free-for-all is a term generally used to describe chaos. And chaos is a word one could use to describe much of Delhi. But at the Gurdwara Bangla Sahib kitchen, a Sikh temple which serves meals to around 10,000 people every single day, there's not a trace of chaos. And the food is free. For all.

This week, Alex and I are at the Doors of Perception conference in India, where the theme is "Food and Juice." It's an exploration of food systems worldwide, and the energy required to make them go. On the first full day of the conference, the fifty-odd attendees split into small groups to go exploring the city of Delhi through its food culture. A number of groups focused on the prolific street vendor network, several looked at Delhi's water, and my group of nine went to Gurdwara Bangla Sahib to see how they achieve the daunting task of feeding thousands of people in single a day. As Debra Solomon told us when introducing the excursion the previous evening: "They do the most exquisite dishwashing ritual you'll ever see." But actually, the Sikh guide who escorted us through the temple grounds told us in no uncertain terms that the kitchen activities are absolutely without ritual. "Cooking food is cooking food," he said, "No ritual. Just cooking." But if it can't be called a ritual, it can surely be called a dance -- a rhythmic, continuous choreography with mounds of dough, cauldrons of lentils, dozens of hands, and an endless stream of hungry visitors.


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sharon1306
post Feb 27 2008, 02:03 AM
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I remember visiting a Langar a couple years ago at a Gurdwara in Pune. It was the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh faith, and it was an interesting experience. The only requirement for us to enter and enjoy the free meal was that we cover our heads (we were in jeans and tshirts and some men outside kindly provided us with their handkerchiefs!) and that we sit on the floor.

The food is generally funded by donations to the Gurdwara
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bloomer
post Feb 27 2008, 09:12 AM
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Sikhs are one of my favorite ethnic groups in India. Invariably honest and fair, educated, friendly and hospitable. You can almost always trust a Sikh, at least in business.
At the Golden Temple in Amritsar, not only can you eat for free, but you can also stay the night for free as well. Not sure how this works out, but I've heard tales from a number of people who have stayed.
Once I asked a sikh man about the communal meal, and he said something like "This is when the rich man and the poor man eat side by side. At this time, there is no rich man or poor man, we are all the same."
One of the coolest things I've heard from any religion. Punjab Rocks!


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starlagurl
post Feb 27 2008, 10:20 AM
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Yep, that's pretty awesome.


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starlagurl
post May 9 2008, 10:24 AM
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Cool, what did they feed you manpasand? Welcome to the forums by the way.


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bipodx
post Aug 18 2008, 06:56 AM
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thnx bloomer!
really Punjab rocks! even i am a sikh. so if anyone want any information regarding sikhs or PUNJAB just ask me...............

sunny



QUOTE(bloomer @ Feb 27 2008, 10:12 AM) *

Sikhs are one of my favorite ethnic groups in India. Invariably honest and fair, educated, friendly and hospitable. You can almost always trust a Sikh, at least in business.
At the Golden Temple in Amritsar, not only can you eat for free, but you can also stay the night for free as well. Not sure how this works out, but I've heard tales from a number of people who have stayed.
Once I asked a sikh man about the communal meal, and he said something like "This is when the rich man and the poor man eat side by side. At this time, there is no rich man or poor man, we are all the same."
One of the coolest things I've heard from any religion. Punjab Rocks!

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starlagurl
post Aug 19 2008, 09:10 AM
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Cool, thanks for the offer, bipodx.


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michaeldicken
post Sep 17 2009, 11:50 AM
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No, thiese Dharamshalas don't provide food. They provide a free cot to sleep on. They're supposed to be in most towns. help! Although, this Langar phenomenon is good to know about..thanks..
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shanstravels
post Sep 24 2009, 08:26 AM
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QUOTE(michaeldicken @ Sep 17 2009, 12:50 PM) *

No, thiese Dharamshalas don't provide food. They provide a free cot to sleep on. They're supposed to be in most towns. help! Although, this Langar phenomenon is good to know about..thanks..


Who runs these Dharamshalas? And why? And who usually stays in them?
Do you happen to have pictures of any? Are they in someones house or in some sort of building?
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