|The Hibbert Assembly
|Suggestions for a primary school assembly
|Remembering, of course, to bear rules of
hygiene in mind, provide the children with a little drink of milk
diluted with water.
Explain to the children that today, 27 May, in India where it is very hot, buses and trains will stop for a period to allow Sikhs to give a cooling drink of milk and water, called Lissi, to the passengers.
Car drivers will also be invited to stop and they and their passengers will be offered a drink of Lissi. This is done to commemorate the death of the Sikhs' first martyr, Guru Arjan.
Explain that a guru is a special name for a teacher who teaches us about God.
A martyr is someone who dies for their beliefs. The Sikhs had ten gurus and Arjan was their fifth. He lived about four hundred years ago.
He built a temple for the Sikhs at a place called Amritsar and he gathered together the writings of earlier gurus to create the Sikhs holy book. But the ruler of Guru Arjan's country thought that he was a dangerous man.
The ruler got money for his country, just as our government does here, by making people pay taxes. But Arjan's ruler made the Sikhs pay tax for holding special events and for worship in their temple.
Guru Arjan believed in people having freedom to worship and he would not pay the tax. He was fined but he would not pay the fine. So the ruler had him sent ot prison.
In prison Guru Arjan was tortured.
A great fire was lit and he was made to sit above it on a metal platform.
This got unbearably hot, but the Guru bore the terrible pain calmly.
When he was released from the torture he dived into the river and was never seen again.
It is to remember how cruelly he was tortured and how he bore the heat, that Sikhs give people a cooling drink today.
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