2012 saw the tremendous growth in our Facebook page Sikh Discover Inspire – The GT1588 Initiative from a few thousand to nearly 10,000 followers. As well as highlighting Sikh heritage, history and traditions we’ve also kept abreast of topical news to create an enticing mix of stories over the past 12 months.
Here’s a rundown of our Top 10 of 2012 (based on number of ‘Likes’).
Which one is your favourite? Or was another post your personal favourite? Let us know by adding your comments at the end of this blog.
10. 25/25 Christmas Special Offer
Our special pre-Christmas offer was your tenth most popular post of 2012. The whopping discount of 25% for orders received before 25th December was warmly received and proved a great way of showing support for heritage.
Like the post said ‘Not only do our books and art prints make for perfect gifts – any recipient will immediately appreciate their superior quality and exquisite beauty – you will also be supporting heritage: as a not-for-profit enterprise, all proceeds go to supporting more high quality projects in the future.’
9. Amritsar’s Incredible Twins
The remarkable story of Amritsar’s nine-year-old twin brothers who share the same torso and, according to medical experts, should have died at birth. Their home, Pingalwara, is a refuge for the most vulnerable in society and the central orphanage in Amritsar. It was founded by the late Bhagat Puran Singh (1904-1992) whose enduring legacy remains an inspiration for millions.
8. Sacrifices Remembered
British officers leading Indian troops in both World Wars had close, often first-hand, experiences of fighting alongside Sikhs soldiers. The Sikhs’ loyalty, bravery and sense of honour were summed up in the words of General Sir Frank Messervy: ‘In the last two world wars 83,005 turban wearing Sikh soldiers were killed and 109,045 were wounded. They all died or were wounded for the freedom of Britain and the world and during shell fire, with no other protection but the turban, the symbol of their faith.’
This post used an iconic image from the classic text Warrior Saints (new edition coming soon) of Sikhs marching in Mesopotamia during World War I with their holy scripture, the Guru Granth Sahib, being held aloft at the front of the men.
7. Stylish Sikh – Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala
Part of our popular series on Stylish Sikhs, this archive image of a man famed for his opulent lifestyle caused quite a stir with the style conscious amongst you!
Photographed in London in 1928, the towering Maharaja is immaculately dressed in a Savile Row suit. He enjoyed a wealth that afforded him 28 Rolls Royce cars and the entire fifth floor of London’s Savoy Hotel when he stayed in England! Whilst in the UK, Bhupinder Singh would rarely miss the opportunity to visit his favourite London tailors to add to his collection of 200 bespoke suits.
6. Changing the Guard
Guardsman Jatinderpal Singh Bhullar’s appearance outside Buckingham Palace as part of the Changing of the Guard led to a Daily Telegraph correspondent to ask the question ‘Where would the British Army be without the Sikhs?’ Clearly plenty of you agreed.
5. Queen’s Guard – Sikh Turban
Look, no bearskin! Pictured in his uniform for the first time, the announcement that Sikh Guardsman Jatinderpal Singh Bhullar would be allowed to wear his turban outside Buckingham Palace caused over 1,000 of you to click the ‘Like’ button in approval of this progressive military move.
4. In Remembrance – the Khanda Poppy
‘They fought and died for us, in their turbans’ stated Winston Churchill. The Khanda Poppy initiative sought to mark the Sikh contribution by raising awareness of the estimated 83,000 Sikh volunteers who died in the two World Wars. Over 1,100 of you supported this worthwhile endeavour.
3. Harry Potter author says Sikhism is ‘an amazing religion’
Bestselling author JK Rowling’s comments on BBC TV were made during an interview about her new adult novel The Casual Vacancy. In the book, Rowling includes a Sikh family, the Jawandas, whose faith acts partly as a moral force through the story. Her interest was sparked when she learnt about Sikhism’s egalitarian principles from a Sikh work colleague when she was in her twenties. Nearly 1,500 of you made this one our third most popular post of the year.
2. GT1588 Wishing You a Happy Diwali
Nearly 1,500 shared in our celebratory post upon the occasion of Bandi Chhor Diwas as our Golden Temple book launched in India. Included amongst the 70 rare eyewitness accounts in the book was a wonderful description of Diwali from 1882 – exactly 130 years ago prior – which described how Darbar Sahib was best viewed at Diwali when the shrine is ‘brilliantly illuminated with thousands upon thousands of those little terracotta lamps, known in India as cheraghs…placed on different parts of the temple, around the boundaries of the tank and on the adjacent buildings… Silently and rapidly line after line of fire flashed into existence, revealing to our admiring eyes the gemmed outlines of a veritable fairy city.’ Magical and Illuminating, then and now, the shrine continues to shine like a beacon.
1. Making History
And at Number one is the story with over 2,500 ‘Likes’ of British Sikh soldier, Jatinderpal Singh Bhullar, making history when he became the first guardsman to wear a turban rather than a bearskin at Buckingham Palace. Congratulations to him for his remarkable and historical achievement. A worthy winner of our first Top 10 Poll.
Like what you see? Don’t forget to ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ the most happening Sikh social media site out there: Sikh Discover Inspire – The GT1588 Initiative.
Join us in 2013 for another year of inspirational culture & heritage.