PUNJABI LANGUAGE EDUCATION ASSOCIATION REMINDS PEOPLE WHOSE MOTHER TONGUE IS PUNJABI TO MENTION IT IN CENSUS
CENSUS 2011 is already well under way. It is important for every Canadian to actively participate in this process. The census information is crucial not only to every level of government but also to businesses, organizations and individuals. It helps plan for schools, hospitals, police, fire protection, day care, services for seniors and much more.
Another important aspect of the census is the question about language. In the short form already sent to every household in Canada, two questions – numbers 8 and 9 – are about language. It helps identify the speakers of each language spoken by Canadians. Thus it is important to write ones mother tongue where required on these questions.
In this context, Punjabi Language Education Association (PLEA Canada) is encouraging those whose mother tongue is Punjabi to write Punjabi at the appropriate place. Here, it may be appropriate to mention that according to the 2001 census, there were 271,220 Punjabi speakers in Canada. This number increased to 367,505 in the 2006 census. It identified Punjabi as the sixth most spoken language in Canada. Hopefully, this time the number will be even greater as the Punjabi community has increased considerably during the past five years.
In case some people haven’t received the census form already, they can access it on line at: census2011.gc.ca or request it by calling: 1-877-777-2011.
PLEA has been working hard for more than 17 years in promoting Punjabi in Canada. It has been very successful in raising its profile. As a result of PLEA’s efforts, numerous schools, and post secondary institutions in BC and other parts of Canada are offering Punjabi to their students. Also, this language is constantly gaining prominence at various levels of government, businesses and organizations.
PLEA consists of a number of dedicated volunteers who spend countless hours in promoting Punjabi. Every year PLEA holds two major functions. Jashan, usually held in November, brings together a large number of students of Punjabi who share their knowledge and language skills with others. International Mother Language Day, held in February, is a celebration of Punjabi language. On top of that, PLEA holds regular meetings throughout the year including its Annual General Meeting (AGM). Thanks to PICS nearly all of meetings are held at their headquarters in Surrey.
At its latest AGM held on May 16, the following were elected to the PLEA Board of Directors: President – Balwant Sanghera, Vice President – Sadhu Binning, Secretary – Parvinder Dhariwal, Treasurer – Paul Binning, Directors- Rajinder Pandher, Ranbir Johal, Sukhwant Hundal, Raminderjit Dhami, Sukhi Bains and Harmohanjit Pandher. Most of PLEA meetings are open to the public. Our next meeting will be held on Monday, June 6 at 7 p.m. at PICS offices in Surrey. PLEA is very thankful to the Indo-Canadian media and the community for its on-going support.