Cleaning With the Kara: GIEU India 2015 (by Liam)

I was doing seva at the dish washing station, and I noticed the man next to me was continually soaking and trying his best to clean a bowl, but it had some very stubborn layer of food encrusted on the inside. When I first saw him using his kara to scrape the bowl clean at first I was very surprised. As a religious item of adornment, I would not have expected it to be literally used to clean dishes (could I see my sister using her cross necklace like that?). When I thought about it and did some more research on the kara, however, it made perfect sense. The kara is worn to constantly remind sikhs of God and their duties on earth. Utilitarian use always seems to hold the highest regard at the Golden Temple. In that regard, the man’s use of his kara to clean out someone else’s bowl not only makes sense, but illustrates a great example of how I see the Harmandir Sahib, and the people who perform seva alongside me.

-Liam

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