Bus tour will give community an insight into city’s cultural landmarks

Sikh gurduara SheppartonThe Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District will conduct a cultural tour of Shepparton’s ethnic and cultural environs as part of cultural diversity week, 2020 on Thursday 26th of March, 2020.

Driving down Doyles Rd, it’s impossible to miss the glorious Gurduara Sahib Sikh Temple — an immense white building topped with a striking golden dome. Built in 2006, it has been a cultural hub for Shepparton’s Sikh population for about 15 years.

But Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District strategic engagement co-ordinator Sam Atukorala said many people in the community hadn’t been inside. A day-long multicultural bus tour on Thursday, March 26 will give people the opportunity to explore this temple, as well as the Afghan, Iraqi and Turkish mosques, and the Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-operative.

Mr Atukorala said this tour, as part of Cultural Diversity Week, was a chance for the wider population to meet and connect with Aboriginal, Muslim and Sikh leaders in Shepparton. “It gives them the opportunity to learn about the cultures and religions of Aboriginal and migrant communities,” he said.

“The tour will help to break cultural barriers,” he said.

Mr Atukorala said the yearly tour had introduced about 1000 people to Shepparton’s cultural landmarks since 2011, with most saying it was an insightful experience they had never had before.

“For many who have attended, the tour was the first time they’ve had interaction with new and emerging communities,” he said.

“It’s great to connect the communities, and lots of people come with questions.”

Volunteer Dhami Singh will be leading one of the groups for this year’s tour, and said everyone was welcome to attend. “We don’t care who you are, as long as you take your shoes off and cover your head,” he said.

The Ethnic Council recommended tour participants bring a scarf to cover their hair, and to consider wearing socks to make shoe removal easier, as part of Muslim and Sikh traditions.

Buses will depart from the Ethnic Council on Welsford St at 9.15am, will stop at the various sites throughout the day, including the Turkish Mosque for lunch, and will return about 4pm.

For more information, phone Andrew at the Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District on 5831 2395.


Sikh gurduara Shepparton
Trilok Singh, Sirmaur Singh, Sam Atukorala, Dhami Singh and Rustam Singh – pictured at Shepparton’s Gurduara Sahib Sikh Temple – are welcoming all members of the community to jump aboard a multicultural bus tour next month.


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