The SASI was pleased to host the winning authors of the 2018 Dhahan Prize in Punjabi Literature on October 24, 2018. The SASI has an MoU with the Dhahan Prize in Punjabi Literature which includes an annual reading of the winning authors at the SASI. In addition to hosting the authors, the SASI provided translation and editorial support for the 2017 award winning Punjabi language novel ‘Us Pal’ (That Moment).
This years winning authors included: Nasir Abbas Baloch, Baldev Singh Sadaknama and Harpreet Sekha. The keynote address was provided by Parveen Malik, a pioneer in her own right in terms of her contributions to Punjabi literature. The Punjabi language has a rich tradition in South Asia and the Diaspora as appreciated by the Dhahan Prize:
For centuries, Punjabis have thrived on the plains and foothills of Punjab in South Asia, and in diaspora communities around the world. Although the region of Punjab was divided between India and Pakistan in the 1947 partition of the subcontinent, Punjabi culture and literature live on across borders and across two scripts: Gurmukhi, which is prevalent in Indian Punjab, and Shahmukhi, used in Pakistani Punjab. The Dhahan Prize, too, crosses borders, recognizing the best in Punjabi fiction, from Amritsar to Abbotsford, and London to Lahore.
Punjabi is a language and culture that is diverse and ever-changing. Punjabi literature expresses the unique cultural ethos of this global community, describing the social, cultural, and political lives of Punjabis in South Asia and around the world. It is modern – with a commitment to social engagement and critique – but also draws on a rich, centuries-old literary reservoir that includes Sheikh Farid, Guru Nanak, Waris Shah, Damodar, Amrita Pritam, Shiv Kumar, and Ustad Damman.
The authors each read passages from their winning books and the event was followed by questions and answers from the audience. Dr. Garry Fehr, the Associate Vice President, Research, Engagement and Graduate Studies provided a welcome from UFV.