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Langar at the 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions

July 5, 2023

Langar, short for Guru Ka Langar, is a community meal that is served free to all – regardless of an individual’s gender, caste, creed, social status, religion, or race. Langar is based on the principles of equality and service to humanity.

Vegetarian food is prepared and served by volunteers cheerfully and enthusiastically with no expectation of a reward in return. Volunteers take utmost care in preparing meals. Some volunteers are assigned to clean all utensils, collect all rubbish, and leave the venue clean. Generally, donations from the Sikh congregation are used to purchase food and supplies for Langar. Sikhs believe that serving the hungry is to serve their Guru and, thus, the Creator.

The institution of Langar started about 550 years ago with a simple, but gigantic, act by Guru Nanak – the founder of the Sikh faith. He was given funds to start his business. Instead, he bought food and served the hungry. He referred to this noble act as “a true bargain.” The tradition of serving Langar is followed by all Gurdwaras around the world.

Sikhs have served Langar at all in-person Parliament convenings. In 2004, when Langar was served on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea at the Barcelona Parliament, it was the talk of the town. For several days, many thousands of people were served delicious meals.

Langar addresses many social issues such as inequality, caste and class system, hunger, hatred, discrimination, fear of strangers, ignorance, helplessness, etc. Anyone who wishes to partake in Langar is asked no questions. Instead, they are merely welcomed as they arrive and thanked when they leave. All Sikhs feel blessed because serving Langar is serving their Guru. After all it is GURU KA LANGAR.

Please come and share a meal with us at the Parliament in Chicago. Langar will be served Monday, August 14th to Friday, August 18th from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm.

How to Participate in 3 Easy Steps:

  • Take off your shoes.
  • Cover your head, a scarf will be provided or you can bring your own.
  • Sit on the carpet when in the Langar area; medical and mobility accommodations are provided in the Langar area for all to be able to participate.

Want to experience Langar and connected with thousands of global changemakers committed to justice, peace, and sustainability? Register for the 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions today!