Prof. Jasprit Singh and his students are studying the langar model of sustainability in Amritsar.
Welcome to CGIS
Prof. Jasprit Singh has been updating us on his GIEU cohort's experiences in Amritsar, India.
Every single day, over 40,000 people enjoy a free, delicious, and nutritious vegetarian meal in Harmandar Sahib ('The Golden Temple'), Amritsar, a six-hour train ride from Delhi. People voluntarily switch from being served to serving, eliding distinctions of class, caste, gender, age, and even faiths - although the meal takes place in a temple, participants are of many and varied belief systems and most of the volunteers are not Sikh. Sitting together on a jute runner on the floor, people share a common meal whose roots extend more than 400 years.
This GIEU program is examining the Langar of Harmandar Sahib as a model of holistic and coherent action. Students trace food from farm to mouth in order to tackle issues of food sustainability as well as serve in the community kitchen in order to learn how to cook at such a massive scale. Prof. Singh is especially focused on asking how the vocabulary and practices that may be culturally rooted in the land (the Punjab in India), the religion (the Sikh faith), and the culture (of India, where the concept of karma and its understanding flows through each person, even if the interpretations of karma may vary) be transformed for other lands and people and cultures.
The Center for Global and Intercultural Study (CGIS) was founded in July 2009 to provide a wide variety of global engagement and learning opportunities to the University of Michigan community. CGIS programming serves students with diverse academic interests at international and domestic sites on every inhabited continent.
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