Punjab language Education Association (PLEA) usually holds two major functions every year. International Mother Language Day is celebrated in the third or last week of February. For a number of years PLEA was also sponsoring Punjabi Jashans in November in collaboration with the teachers of Punjabi in Metro Vancouver. However, due to a number of reasons, it was unable to do so for some time. This year, PLEA is pleased to start this process again. For this, it is very thankful to a number of teachers as well as PLEA members Ranbir Johal and Parvinder Dhariwal for putting on an excellent student focussed program at Princess Margaret Secondary School in Surrey.
On November 27thPLEA held its first Creative Writing contest at Princess Margret Secondary School. The contest was for high school students who are currently learning Punjabi in the Public School System. We were very pleased to receive a range of submissions from over forty students, including, letters, shorts stories and poems. The submissions were judged by Kwantlen Polytechnic’s Punjabi Instructor Ranbir Johal and the contest was hosted by Princess Margret’s Punjabi teacher Amandeep Chhina. The event was organized very well and Prabhjot Sekha did a wonderful job of introducing the students who had won a prizes. The students read out excerpts from their winning submissions and were awarded with cheques (cash prizes) from the Deepak Binning Foundation. Sadhu Binning and I had the honour of presenting the cheques as well as PLEA pens to the winners. Every participant received a certificate of participation/appreciation.
An honorable mention was made for Japreet Singh Lehal an exceptional former student from Princess Margaret who had written a story a few years back. Japreet is also a wonderful singer and he shared a few of his songs with the audience. This young man has an excellent future as a writer and singer. On behalf of PLEA I would like to congratulate Japreet and wish him well.
PLEA would like to take this opportunity to thank the Deepak Binning Foundation for providing the award money to the winners. It would also like to thank and acknowledge all of the teachers and students from Princess Margret, Panorama Ridge, Queen Elizabeth and LA Matheson for participating in this Creative Writing Competition. It is very encouraging to see the young generation take an interest in Punjabi literature and create wonderful marvels of their own. PLEA will host this contest annually and next year hopes to create an anthology of creative works which will include creative writing submissions from students currently learning Punjabi. Also, in February, PLEA will be celebrating the International Mother Language Day. Details will follow early in the New Year.
Winners 2014 Writing Contest
“Kyoon Bapu?” Jasdip Gill, Queen Elizabeth Secondary
“Phul” – Gurjot Dhaliwal ,Panorama Ridge Secondary
“Dost” – Rameesha Panorama Ridge Secondary
“Nakal Mardi” – Sukhpreet Shergill , Panorama Ridge Secondary
“Azaadi” – Kamaljit Singh Bhullar , LA Matheson
“Zindagi Da Ant” – Aainroop Kaur ,Princess Margret
“Navi Soch di Zaroorat” – Kiran Bains , Princess Margret
“Paro” – Satwant Brar ,Panorama Ridge Secondary School