9th IMLD Feb. 20, 2011 (Haveli Restaurant Surrey)
Punjabi Language Education Association (PLEA) had a very successful International Mother Language Day (IMLD) celebration on Sunday, February20. The function held at Surrey’s Hawelli banquet hall attracted a large number of Punjabi’s well wishers. The program began with a brief update of PLEA’s achievements and challenges. This was followed by a background of the IMLD and a call to the community to actively participate in the upcoming census in May of this year.
PLEA had invited a team from Statistics Canada to make a presentation about the census. This team did an excellent job in explaining the census and its importance to the South Asian community. The census officials stated that the short form has ten simple questions and should take only a few minutes to complete. This form will be delivered to every household in Canada. The long form, which has 65 questions, will be delivered to every third household numbering 4.5million households. They stressed that the census is extremely important as it will provide vital information for new schools, seniors housing, and health, police and fire protection services etc… It was good to see their information sheet in this regard in Punjabi.
The Statistics Canada team was followed by a number of prominent members of the community. These included Tarranum Thind, Manjit Kang, Gurvinder Singh Dhaliwal, Ijaz Chatha, and Dr. Manjit Singh Randhawa. All of these speakers emphasized the importance of Punjabi. Each one of them shared their own experiences and urged the community to get on board in promoting Punjabi and actively participate in the upcoming census.
Dr. Anne Murphy’s students from her Punjabi class at UBC shared their projects with the audience. Also, a number of children, youth and adults recited heart warming poetry about Punjabi language. The organizers thanked the attendees, participants, panel members, special guests and all of the PLEA well wishers including Deepak Binning Foundation and entire Indo-Canadian media for their on-going support. On the whole, it was a very well deserved tribute to one of the most prominent languages of the world.