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Langar (Free kitchen)

The institution of Langar was started by the first Guru, Guru Nanak dev ji. The idea behind this institution was equality. During the time of the first Guru, India was badly divided in to cast and class system. Rich would not like sit with poor or high cast people would avoid to be seen with low cast people. In Guru Nanak's Langer they had to cook together, serve together and eat together. This institution became an important aspect of the Sikh faith. It was known as Sangat and Pangat (congregation and eating together in straight line).

Many people used to cheat the system. They would attend the congregation but wouldavoid eating together. The third Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Amar dass ji changed the system to "Pahley Pangat fir Sangat". First eat as equal and then the Guru will see them. It is said that even the emperor Akabar had to sit on the flood along with others before he could see Guru Amar Dass.

Food cooked the Gurdwara as a Langar is always vegetarian. So it does not offend anybody's faith. Everyone regardless of cast, creed, faith or gender is most welcome to join in. Provided they are not under the influence of drink or are carrying Tobacco. There is always a pool of helpers eager to help in preparing and serving the Langar. It is always said the Sikh Langer is a training ground for Sewa (voluntary work). Langer is one of the success stories of Sikh hospitality.

Harmandar Sahib (Golden temple) is one of the highest shrines of the Sikhs where many thousands of people part takes in Langar every day. Hence in Sikhism Langar became a symbol of equality, caring and sharing.