The langur (community kitchen) at the Golden Temple serves 50,000 free meals a day to everyone, regardless of religion or class. More than 5,000 happy volunteers work round the clock, cooking up a full meal of tea, rice, vegetable, daal, chapati and kheer (pudding). A whopping 18 quantals (=18,000 kg) of daal and 50 quantals of wheat are consumed each day. This has got to be the largest and happiest community kitchen in the world.
Harmandir Sahib (A.K.A the Golden Temple) in Amritsar is the most important place in the Sikh religion. Construction of the temple was started by Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism in the 1400’s. Guru Nanak was fed up with the Hindu caste-system and the discrimination between Hindus and Muslims, so created a faith that was accepting of everyone regardless of their social status or religion. Being charitable towards others, especially the poor, was another fundamental aspect of the new Sikh religion, and it was Guru Nanak who established the first langur many centuries ago.
Today, every gurudwara provides free meals as well as places for people to sleep. In a society where the divide between rich and poor is so stark, eating at the Golden Temple is refreshingly grounding as everyone sits together on the floor, eating exactly the same meal. All langurs are the same, but the sheer size and efficiency of the one at the Golden Temple boggles the mind.