Auckland, July 5, 2020: On July 4, during the passing out parade for new inductees into in the New Zealand army, a unique sight was witnessed.
Among the 63 new soldiers, what caught everyone’s attention was a 23-year-old white man wearing a green turban and smartly turned out with a light brown beard.
The name of this young white man is Louis Singh Khalsa, who is a baptised Sikh. His English name is Louis Talbot.
This is an amazing story of white boy who partook amrit at Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib and then went on to join the New Zealand Army.
He spoke to this reporter in Punjabi and the first question put to him was how come he adopted Sikhism so perfectly in just 5 years when it takes many people a lifetime.
Khalsa said he belongs to Timaru, a town in Canterbury, and completed his college education at Christ College, Christchurch.
“In 2015, I met a Sikh boy named Tejinder Singh at a friend’s house. I asked him about Sikhism and he told me to visit Gurdwara Jagat Guru Nanak Sahib in Christchurch. When I went there I felt a different kind of calm,” Khalsa said.
He then started visiting the gurdwara every week where he met Sukhpreet Singh, Kamal Singh, Dilraj Singh, Kanwaljit Singh and Rajwinder Singh who inspired him to follow the Sikh way of life.
In June 2018, Khalsa went to Punjab and lived with a Sikh family and was baptized at Sri Kesgarh Sahib, Anandpur Sahib.
He started learning Gurmukhi and reciting bani and then he visited Darbar Sahib where he practised Punjabi by reading signboards on the streets. Later, when he returned to New Zealand he learned to play tabla and kirtan.
Khalsa’s mother is from England while his father is from New Zealand. He has an older brother and a younger sister.