“We have to do something, we can’t sit back and say ‘oh, it’s not happening in my backyard,’ so even if we can just show to the world that this is possible, we can collaborate, we can love one another…”
Connie offered this beautiful quote during her interview with Global TV News. You can see the full coverage here:
This year’s Pilgrimage, our final event for United Nations World Interfaith Harmony Week, was a shining example of what is possible in a community that yearns for peace and harmony. It is an example of what can happen when people come together to work positively and creatively.
What follows is a summary of the event in words and pictures. It starts with Scott’s interview with Harpreet Singh on JoyTV’s “Let’s Talk” show, and ends with footage taken by Haniel, one of the Pilgrims, at the final stop outside of the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara. You can click on the pictures to enlarge them.
We hope you enjoy and we hope that you can join us for next year’s Pilgrimage. You can sign up to receive an invitation here.
We started the day at the Thien Ton Buddhist Temple. Venerable Thich Ngueyn Tinh an the Buddhist community there welcomed us with hot tea and warm smiles! We began the Pilgrimage by with a meditation walk through the beautiful gardens at the Temple.
Our next stop was Northwood United Church. We were greeted by TV cameras from Global TV News and a number of new Pilgrims that joined up with us. The Christian community at Northwood was in the middle of Sunday worship when we arrived, but offered us refreshments and a warm place to rest. While resting, some of the Pilgrims took a moment to enjoy the interfaith artwork that was on display.
Our next stop was lunch at the Laxmi Narayana Hindu Mandir. We enjoyed a delicious vegetarian lunch, and participated in part of the worship service.
Heading out from the lively Mandir, we entered into the quiet natural sanctuary of Bear Creek Park. We walked to the sounds of birds overhead, the trickle sounds of nearby creeks, and the rhythmic crunch of gravel underfoot.
We arrived for a rest stop at the Canadian Singh Sabha Gurdwara. After some refreshments and a brief tour we were back on the road.
Our next rest stop was at the Surrey Jamea Muslim Masjid were we were invited in for refreshments. By this time in the Pilgrimage, we had fallen behind schedule, but many in the Muslim community had stayed to wait for our arrival and greet us. After enjoying food and fellowship, we joined the community for afternoon prayers before heading out.
We arrive later than expected at our final stop, the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara. We arrived tired and were treated to a steaming and delicious vegetarian meal.
In total, we covered over 16km across Surrey. Many walked the full distance. Some joined in later or left early. Some simply joined in for lunch or dinner! Along the way we experienced rich hospitality by countless people in our community, including a great group of local youth.
No matter how people participated, everyone played an important part in shaping this day and making a collective statement about peace and unity that none of us could have done on our own. We made new friends, and we now see and experience our community in a different way.
We are grateful for everything that contributed to this wonderful experience, and we look forward to doing it again next year!
A huge thank you to Suzanne, Connie, David and Kimiko for providing the above pictures. Here are some concluding images from participant Haniel Glow: