Some 500 students of the Singapore Management University (SMU) experienced multiculturalism and savoured a sumptuous meal at the same time on Thursday afternoon.
As part of efforts by SMU's Sikh club to celebrate Sikh culture and tradition, students were treated to traditional vegetarian dishes such as dhal (lentil soup), briyani (fragrant rice with spices) and jira aloo (spiced potatoes).
These were laid out in buffet-style by some seven students of the club, SMU Sikhs Inc, as part of its inaugural SMU Langar Day-Sharing CommUNITY Love event. It was funded by the People's Association.
Langar, which means food in Punjabi, refers to the free community kitchen of the Sikhs. Vegetarian food, prepared by volunteers in Sikh temples, is served as it caters to everyone, regardless of a person's dietary needs.
This emphasises the importance of equality, according to an event poster.
Said Year 3 School of Business student Sukhjeet Kaur, who is also part of the event organizing committee: "We hope to spread the concept of love for the community by having everyone, regardless of background, eat together."
The three-hour long event, which was held at the SMU Lee Kong Chian School of Business on Victoria Street, also included a Sikh martial arts display, a turban tying booth, and an exhibition on Sikhism.
Mr Alex Yam, an adviser to Yew Tee grassroot organisations and member of the Panel of Activists for Community Engagement (Pace), graced the event as guest of honour.
He said: "The students' decision to share community love through cultural appreciation is meaningful as the event is held on the eve of Valentine's Day, which is also on the eve of this year's Chinese Valentine's Day.
"This programme underscores how many cultures have similar undertones, and that our similarities should be drawn out and celebrated more than our differences."