By Jessica Anstice
The Casey Cardinia Sikh community held its third annual Jorh Mela Baba Budha Ji event at IYU Recreation Reserve in Pakenham on Sunday 29 September.
With the aim to celebrate rich culture, the community event attracted thousands of people.
Over 750 players participated in sporting events throughout the day, including the main event, Kabaddi.
Kabaddi is a contact team sport, whereby the objective of the game is for a single player on offence to run into the opposing team’s half of the court, tag out as many of their defenders and return to their own half of the court.
Other games played were soccer, volleyball, cricket, badminton, power lifting, elderly running, tug of war and musical chairs.
“It was an event for social interaction, social cohesion and celebrating our rich culture,” Guruwara Baba Budha Sahib Ji Pakenham volunteer Monty Sodhi said.
“The event was also to celebrate the birth of Baba Budha Ji – one of the first disciples of Baba Guru Nanak Dev Ji the founder of Sikh religion and to share the teachings of Baba Budha Ji with Australians that do Sewa community service.
“It was also to show our rich culture to our younger generation so that they can feel connected with our roots and learn something good, so that they can share these things with others here in Australia.”
The very first Australia Sikh bike club attracted a large crowd with its display.
Member for La Trobe and Assistant Minister for Community Safety and Multicultural Affairs Jason Wood made a four hour appearance on the day, to cheer on the Kabaddi players.
Member for Genbrook Brad Battin, Member for Bass Jordan Crugnale, Cardinia Shire Council mayor Graham Moore and deputy mayor Collin Ross also showed support at the event.
The successful day was organised by Gurudwara Baba Budha Sahib Ji Pakenham and Baba Budhaji Sports Association Pakenham.