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Tuesday, Dec 10, 2019

Kartarpur turns meeting point for both Punjabs

chandigarh Updated: Dec 03, 2019 06:38 IST
Surjit Singh
Surjit Singh
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Pilgrims from India posing with residents of Pakistan Punjab at Gurdwara Darbar Sahib after crossing the Kartarpur Corridor.
Pilgrims from India posing with residents of Pakistan Punjab at Gurdwara Darbar Sahib after crossing the Kartarpur Corridor. (Sameer Sehgal/HT)
         

Separated at birth, faith has reunited them.

With the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor nearly a month ago, pilgrims across age groups from Indian Punjab are not only paying their respects at the last resting place of Sikh faith founder Guru Nanak, but are also getting a chance to catch up with a past their ancestors left behind after Partition.

For the first time in 72 years, pilgrims have been visiting Pakistan Punjab in such large numbers daily. They are overwhelmed to meet Pakistanis who share their language and culture.

“Gurdwara Darbar Sahib at Kartarpur has become a meeting point of both Punjabs. People there are very happy to see us,” says Gursharanjot Singh, 26, from Ludhiana. “Some told us that they travelled from Lahore only to meet people from Indian Punjab. It didn’t feel like a foreign country.”

Another pilgrim, Harjit Singh, 40, of Fatahpur village in Amritsar, says, “We met hundreds of Pakistanis speaking Punjabi. They wouldn’t hesitate to strike a conversation by greeting us with, Sat Sri Akal, sardarji.”

Jagdeep Singh, 34, from Batala agrees and says, “Their language is purer. Uthe ja ke sanu shanti ta mili hi, but othon de lokan ne sade naal ena chaa kita ki das nahi sakde (Besides the serenity of the place, meeting the locals was heartwarming). They asked us how it felt crossing the border and admitted they were happier to find us among them.”

Gurmeet Singh, 45, from Gurdaspur, recalls, “We took selfies together and prayed that we live in peace.”

“Punjabis are known for their hospitality so we were welcomed with an open heart,” says Jatinder Singh, 35, of Amritsar.

Sandeep Singh Teja, 36, from Amritsar, says, “Just like you can’t divide water with a sword; similarly, a border can’t divide Punjab. Our culture binds us.”