The Kartarpur Corridor crosses one of the most dangerous and contentious borders in the world, and is generally shut to travellers, but, hundreds of thousands of Sikhs have crossed it to mark the 550th birthday of Guru Nanak, the founder of their religion.
The chance to visit the magnificent monument to him, is all down to a highly unusual level of diplomacy between India and Pakistan, all in the name of Sikhism, a religion which has always straddled the divisions between Hinduism and Islam.
Nina Robinson travels with the pilgrims on a highly personal and emotional journey taking in the villages and towns of her Punjabi family to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib one of the holiest places in Sikhism.
Presenter and Producer Nina Robinson
Image : Kartarpur Nina Robinson/BBC
Music of Bhai Gulab Muhammed Chand recorded by Jasdeep Singh
Dilruba scales music by Jasdeep Singh
Image: Nina Robinson/BBC
Buddhism in Cambodia
Cambodia has been a Buddhist country since the 13th Century, apart from a period under the Khmer Rouge. Ninety-five per cent of the population identify as Buddhist. Journalist and blogger, Kounila Keo, brings together young people in Phnom Penh, to hear what they think of the way Buddhism is developing in South East Asia and what kind of Buddhism they want in their country. We have a panel of young Buddhists, together with a live audience, at Factory in Phnom Penh, to discuss issues such as violence, identity, healing, the position of women and gender.
How much do young people see other countries such as Japan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand, as exemplar of a Buddhist way of life? How much should monks be engaging with the outside world? To what extent should modern monks stay in the pagodas, purifying the religion and protecting Buddhism for future generations? In what way can Buddhist principles help the development of Cambodia both economically and socially?
Our panel and audience explore questions such as these and ask how Buddhism can be relevant in the lives of young people today. How do world events affect both their Buddhist and Cambodian identity?
Producer: Louise Clarke-Rowbotham
(Photo: A Cambodian woman prays before statues of Buddha at a pagoda in Phnom Penh. Credit: Tang Chhin Sothy/Getty Images)
Halima: Faith and fashion
Halima Aden is one of the world’s first hijab wearing supermodels. A black, Somali-American, born in Kenya, Halima was the first contestant of a Miss Minnesota beauty pageant to wear a hijab. Now 22, she appears on magazine covers such as Elle and Vogue and walks the runway for famous designers.
“I am not afraid of being the first”, she says with a smile. “I have an opportunity, through my modelling, to change the way that Muslim women are viewed, to give them a platform to have their voices heard, I’m mindful, and proud, of that responsibility.”
How does Halima stay faithful to Islam while displaying herself so publicly?
Alina Isachenka is a former model, now a BBC journalist, who has exclusive access to Halima as she prepares for the catwalk backstage in Istanbul and New York. Halima talks about how she is using her faith to make a difference in the fashion industry all over the world.
Producer/presenter: Alina Isachenka
(Photo: Halima Aden. Credit: Fadil Berisha)
Custodians of the synagogue
The magnificent Maghen David synagogue in Kolkata, India, was once a place of worship for a thriving community of Baghdadi Jews in the city. Now, not more than 30 Jews remain, most of them elderly. There was no resident rabbi from the mid-'60s onwards and, for years, no regular services have been held in the synagogue. But the Maghen David synagogue still occupies a special place in the hearts and souls of those who have known and used it.
Jael Silliman and her mother Flower have returned to Kolkata, the city of their birth, after living in the USA and Israel. Before the community completely disappears, Jael is trying to compile a digital archive that will record their history.
Although the community itself has almost disappeared, the Maghen David has recently been restored and – somewhat surprisingly – has been lovingly looked after for generations by Muslim caretakers. Like his father and grandfather before him, Rabul Khan, takes great pride in his work as a custodian of the synagogue. He says there is no difference between this place of worship and his own: “Both are the House of God and you look after it as if it is your own. We do it with our hearts, whether it is a church, temple, synagogue or mosque.”
Rabul hopes that the synagogue’s restoration might perhaps lead to a revival of the community too: “We believe that there will be a resurgence and more will come to pray in the synagogue…with Allah’s blessings”
(Photo: Maghen David synagogue. Credit: Ruth Evans)
Who will call me beloved?
Tania Hershman is single, lives alone and likes it that way. She is the writer-in-residence in one of Europe’s largest graveyards, the Southern Cemetery, a multi-faith burial site in Manchester in the north of England. As she wanders through the gravestones she has started to wonder – who will call her 'beloved' when she dies?
Manchester has the highest percentage of single people in the UK. For Heart and Soul Tania asks how will we commemorate single people with imagination and tenderness?
Recorded over a year the programme follows Tania as she walks among the dead, talking to them – and the living – about love and memory.
Presenter: Tania Hershman
Producer: Faith Lawrence
(Photo: Graves the Southern Cemetery, Manchester: Credit: Jim Dyson/Getty Images)