November 14, 2018

Tread Lightly 2018: Respecting Faith, Respecting the Environment

Tread Lightly 2018 is only a few days away (though there’s still time to register!)

We’re delighted that this year we will be reaching out to the Black Country, and holding a major Footsteps event at a Sikh venue for the first time.

That might leave you with a few questions about how to be respectful to our hosts at Guru Nanak Gurdwara, and how you can get to Smethwick by low carbon transport.  Luckily we have some simple guidance on both those questions:

Important Information about being respectful at the Gurdwara

  1. One must cover his/her head; a scarf or large handkerchief is regarded as preferable to a hat or cap for a non turbanned visitor.  The Gurdwara has a free supply of suitable scarves which may be borrowed during the visit.
  2. A visitor must take off his/her shoes and place them on the racks or space provided near the entrance.
  3. Under no circumstances should any visitor have in their possession any tobacco product, alcoholic drink, or drug; he/she should not have consumed any or be under it’s influence at the time of the visit.
  4. It is obligatory for any Sikh, young and old, to show the utmost respect to the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji (Sacred Scriptures).  On approaching the Palki Sahib (which holds the Scriptures) Sikhs usually bow down on their knees, touching the floor with their foreheads.  However, it is regarded as dignified for a non-Sikh visitor to show respect to Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji by bowing, or standing still for a second and then moving away with a respectful nod.
  5. It is regarded as discourteous to stand with one’s back to Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, or stretch one’s feet towards the Guru while sitting. Similarly, clapping is not allowed in the Gurdwara.

Low carbon travel to the venue from Birmingham city centre

  • 2 minutes walk from Smethwick Rolfe St train station (get the 13:08* from Birmingham New St to arrive in plenty of time for the start of the conference)
  • 15 minutes walk from Smethwick Galton Bridge station (get the 13:35* from Birmingham New Street, or the 13:15* from Birmingham Moor St).
  • 3 minutes walk from Smethwick High St stop on number 87 bus route (departing from Colmore Row stop SH3 at 13:20* or 13:35*)
  • 20 minutes cycle from Sherbourne Wharf along the Birmingham – Wolverhampton Canal.

*All times as advertised by the operators – Footsteps is not responsible for changes to services or schedules. If you are coming to the tour of the Gurdwara, you will need to get the services one hour earlier than above.

Register for Tread Lightly 2018

Image: Tony Hisgett from Birmingham, UK CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

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