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HindustanTimes Tue,21 Oct 2014

Celebrant keeps Indian culture alive in Sydney

Devendra Uppal, Hindustan Times  Hisar, July 04, 2014
First Published: 13:16 IST(4/7/2014) | Last Updated: 13:23 IST(4/7/2014)

A Sydney-based Sikh priest, Giani Gurudev Singh (52), the only Sikh minister of religion and marriage celebrant in Australia, solemnised 150th marriage recently. He has been a celebrant since 1995 when he acquired the licence to perform and register marriages after clearing a written test.

He told HT over the phone that he was extremely thankful to the Australian Sikh Association (ASA) which helped him become the minister of religion (marriage celebrant) in Australia. “I am authorised to register and perform civil (multi-cultural i.e. international) and religious (same religion and same community) marriages here,” he said.

Having taken primary education from his father Giani Pritam Singh at Batala and later receiving a degree (equivalent to master’s degree) in Indian music from Chandigarh based Pracheen Kala Kendra, Gurudev shifted to Sydney in 1994.

Despite shifting to Australia, Gurudev has always remained true to his roots and has been teaching the younger generation of the Indian diaspora to do the same. The Batala-born priest runs a training centre where he teaches Indian music, especially Gurmat Sangeet, Kirtan, Shabad and Gurbani to Sikh and Hindu students.

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