After two years of Langar Week campaigns which had exceeded all expectations, the third year of Langar Week was always going to be a challenge. Nevertheless, the aim of Langar Week has always remained the same.
The aim of Langar Week has always been to highlight the concept of langar to ensure it reaches those that most need it, whilst also helping people understand a bit more about the Sikh faith.
With this in mind, by the end of the week Langar Week was hailed as a massive success through providing much needed inspiration, education and warmth to millions around the world.
That’s right – MILLIONS!
With coverage on TV in India, on five different UK TV News channels (BBC Midlands Today, BBC South East, BBC Look North, BBC Scotland and ITV Meridian), 18 different BBC radio channels and coverage in approximately 10 different newspapers/news websites, plus public engagement in many massive events across the world, there can be no doubt that the meaning of langar reached millions of people around the world.
Along with the media coverage, Langar Week also gained mass social-media coverage by trending at number two on twitter on the last day of the campaign and also reaching over 275,000 people on Facebook from one video on the Sikh Press Association page alone.
The coverage only came about because of the massive movement of one-off events people did across the world to highlight langar. By aligning as many efforts to spread the message of langar as possible within just one week, it makes the movement hard to ignore and impossible to miss, therefore getting maximum exposure.
For this reason we were delighted to promote langar in 13 different countries (listed below), through the work of dozens of different organisations. It was also interesting to see the efforts to publicise langar manifested in different ways; from a one-off sit-down langar and educational talk at a yoga centre in Sao Paulo, Brazil, to handing out parcels of food in Manhattan, New York, to the simple gesture of buying a homeless person a meal in Italy, Brescia.
The responses online have also helped highlight the impact of Langar Week. From the thousands of social media comments it is easy to see that learning about langar has amazed many people and made them respect Sikhs a bit more.
With over 15 minutes of prime-time news coverage on BBC and ITV TV, plus over an hour of radio coverage on BBC radio, along with all the newspaper coverage, the PR value of Langar Week this year is estimated to have broken into the millions! A more comprehensive breakdown of the value of our coverage gained will be presented at our annual review of the year in 2017.
Kindness and compassion are core to Sikhi. Our Tenth Master, Guru Gobind Singh Ji, is known as Gareeb Nivaaz – the nourisher of the poor, and a core principle of Sikhi is vand ke chakna – to share the fruits of one’s labour with others before considering oneself. Any instance in which Sikhs unite to demonstrate these qualities is an instance that should be celebrated.
Thank you to all who participated and helped us spread Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s message of langar.
During Langar Week the Sikh Press Association publicised langar in the following countries;
- Australia (promoting the work of Guru Nanak’s Free Kitchenette of Sydney)
- Malawi (promoting the Zero Hunger with Langar project by www.IJustWantAFanta.org)
- Haiti (promoting the work of Khalsa Aid)
- Scotland (promoting the work of Seva Scotland and Guru Nanak’s Free Kitchen)
- Wales (promoting the work of Midlands Langar Seva Society Cardiff)
- England (promoting various groups)
- Italy (promoting the sevadaars of Brescia’s efforts to publicise langar)
- Holland (promoting Amsterdam Gurdwara’s everyday langar)
- Colombia (promoting Langar Colombia)
- Brazil (promoting the event of Casa do Yogo)
- USA (promoting various groups)
- Canada (promoting various groups)
- India (promoting various groups)