Worth Reading: Gurpreet Goes to Gurdwara – Understanding the Sikh Place of Worship

April 1, 2024

Education Newsletter

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Book Review By: Simon Busse, FSWC Educator

Gurpreet Goes to Gurdwara – Understanding the Sikh Place of Worship

Written by Harman Singh Pandher

Illustrated by Gurpreet Kaur Birk‍

Gurpreet Goes to Gurdwara is a wonderful introductory book for children about the Sikh religion. Appropriate for ages 4 -12, it can be used as part of a lesson plan for Sikh heritage month.

The book tells the story of an average 6-year-old Canadian child named Gurpreet, who has reached the age when kids begin to ask deeper questions. Hoping to stay home and relax on a Sunday to watch cartoons and play video games, he is reminded that on Sundays his family attends their Gurwara, or Sikh place of worship. At first reluctant to go, his views begin to change after he arrives. There, he sees not only other kids and their families from the Sikh community that he doesn’t often see, but also a local non-Sikh person who was there for the langar, a free meal available to everyone in the wider community.

Through seeing old friends, and talking with his parents and grandparents, Gurdeep gains a better understanding of his religion and culture. We the reader learn about the importance of turbans, or religious head coverings of Sikh men and boys; the vital role of donations to help people in need; the instruments used in Sikh religious music; and the importance of prayer for this community. By eventually helping out by serving water to the guests, we see Gurdeep’s initial reluctance to come to the Gurdwara change into pride for doing “big people’s work.” By the end of the story, we’ve learned aspects to the Sikh faith and religion, and Gurdeep is now excited to return to his Gurdwara again!