Beer Festival Poster – clearly advertising the venue as The ‘Sikh’ Leisure Centre
HUDDERSFIELD, West Yorkshire, UK—A Beer Festival took place from 4th to 6th October at the ‘Sikh Leisure Centre’ on Prospect Street in Huddersfeld. Numerous posts on the Internet and YouTube videos of the Beer Festival filmed by participants linked the Beer Festival to the Sikh Gurdwara that stands opposite the Sikh Leisure Centre. The Beer Festival taking place in a Leisure Centre which is associated to the Gurdwara which is situated directly opposite to it and is known as the ‘Sikh’ Leisure Centre has created a stir within the wider Sikh community.
A post on Google groups about the Beer Festival
YouTube video posted by an attendee of the Beer Festival
The above Internet site and YouTube video clearly makes no distinction between the Sikh Leisure Centre and the Gurdwara. Whether the Leisure Centre has officially changed its name to ‘Apna Venue’ and it ‘officially’ tried to distance itself from being associated the Gurdwara – the fact remains that 1) the venue has been in the past funded by the Sikh Sangat, 2) in the past the venue has been under the management of the Gurdwara Committee and 3) the general public associates the hall even now to the Sikh community and Gurdwara.
It is irresponsible of the venue management that they allowed such an event to take place when firstly, drinking alcohol is a strict taboo in the Sikh faith which leads to apostasy, and secondly, alcohol is a great health concern not only for the Punjabi community living in Britain but for wider society. The Sikh community whether it is working under the name of the Gurdwara or a venue should be working to promote Sikh ethics, good health and values that better society rather than bring destruction and misery to society.
When members of the wider Sikh community contacted the Gurdwara Sahib, they failed to see what the problem was and claimed that the venue was independent from the Gurdwara Sahib. Rather than seek to promote the Sikh faith, it seems the Gurdwara Committee is happy to play ignorant and see no wrongdoing in the promotion of alcohol opposite the Guru’s Darbaar.