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Sikh Community Takes Centre Stage At Te Papa

New Zealand's Sikh Community Takes Centre Stage At Te Papa

The rituals that feature in a Sikh wedding are being showcased in Te Papa's Indian community exhibition Aainaa - reflections through Indian weddings. >From today the Sikh wedding dais, or stage, becomes the central part of the exhibition and is used as a platform to explain the wedding ceremony.

Aainaa - reflections through Indian weddings, an exhibition celebrating New Zealand's Indian communities, opened at Te Papa last year. At the time of opening the exhibition looked at the Hindu marriage ceremony. This has now been replaced by the Sikh ceremony which will run until March 2004, when it is replaced the by Muslim ceremony. These are three of the major religions practiced by New Zealand Indian people today.

The wedding rituals are told through the personal stories of members the New Zealand Sikh community, and the exhibition contains their own outfits, photographs and other memorabilia from the ceremony.

During a Sikh wedding, the bride and groom circle Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh holy book, four times as special hymns are sung. Each hymn describes a stage in married life. When they finish, the bride and groom become 'one spirit in two bodies'.

Developed in partnership with New Zealand Indian communities, Aainaa - reflections through Indian weddings follows the Chinese Community and the Dutch Community as the third exhibition in Te Papa's Community Gallery.

Admission is free.

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