Punjabi Lekhak Manch Celebrates 40 Years In Canada

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By Acharya S.P.Dwivedi

Now Punjabi language is the third most popular spoken language in Canada and Punjabi Lekhak Manch has played a vital role in promoting  and  preserving Punjabi language and its literature. It bridges the gap between Punjabi and main stream literature and intends to revive the interest of those who have lost, due to some reasons, in their heritage language. Most importantly, Manch has established its own identity in larger literary world. For the dissemination of Punjabi language and literature in North America credit goes to the dedication of its members.

To celebrate its forty years, being an oldest literary Punjabi organization in North America, a committee was formed to organize several conferences, seminars and poetry recital sessions this year and the concluding one was on 22nd September at Newton Community Centre in Surrey. It was a multi language conference in that speakers of other languages—Bill Schembrucker (English), Acharya Dwivedi (Hindi), Manolis Aligiredakis (Greek) , M.Rafiq (Urdu) were invited and Ajmer Rode represented Punjabi.

Artist Jernail Singh welcomed the guests and Kalwant Singh Parmar “Nadeem” did well as a moderator and introduced all the speakers. Bill  talked about the modern novels of English and read some parts of  story from his book-“Mother Therapy”; Dwivedi outlined, in brief, the history of Hindi language and literature; Manolis  recited  poems  from selected Greek poets; Rafiq traced the origin of Urdu and explained the trends and traditions in Urdu literature and  Ajmer tried to cover, in his speech, Punjabi and South Asian literature.

Brajinder Dahahn announced an establishing of $25000.00 scholarship to be given to individual for promoting Punjabi language and literature in world. Amrik Blahi was the MC of  poetry recital session (Kavi Darbar) in that forty writers participated. People enjoyed the lunch sponsored by Basant  Sweet and about 150 people took part in the celebration. As a token of appreciation, a certificate, pen and T-Shirt( with logo of KLM), was presented to each panellist and sponsor.