Stony Brook University’s Sikh Student Association and the Muslim Student Association during the Stony Brook Vigil for Tolerance in 2012. Sikh Holy Day is on Oct. 20. NINA LIN/STATESMAN FILE

“Sikhism is a monotheistic religion. We believe in one God and we call HIM Waheguru,” Sagardeep Singh, a senior mechanical engineering major and a member of the Sikh Student Association, said. “On October 20, we go to gurdwaras where the priests recite Guru Granth sahib ji starting from October 18. On this day, not just Sikhs, but people from all backgrounds come together to celebrate at the Gurudwaras.”

“On this day the Sikhs have a joyous celebration,” Minal Chawla, a freshman biology major and a member of the Sikh Student Assoication, said. “I celebrate this festival with full zeal every year with my family. On the actual Gurgadi day, singing of Bani takes place and Langar (free communal food) is served. We visit the Gurudwara every time on this day and do Sewa (voluntary service) by serving Langar to the people at the Gurudwara. Honestly, it is the best feeling in the world.”

“My memories of celebrating this event are of coming home from school, quickly doing some school work and then showering and putting on my pretty Indian clothes,” Simrat Kaur, a senior biology and psychology major and Vice President of Sikh Student Association, said. “My family and I then head out to go to the Sikh temple in the evening around 7pm, listening to hymns in the car on the way there. Once we get there, we pay our respects to the Guru Granth Sahib and immerse in prayer with family and friends, followed by the singing of hymns. I love the warm feeling I get in my heart when the whole room is singing these beautiful hymns together at night. We then have a free communal meal known as Langar which consists of amazing handmade food made at the temple. It is a day of spreading kindness and service as we have learned to do from our gurus.”