of Learning Punjabi
is a very rich and simple language.
Surrey, Vancouver, May 11, 2008
Children, youth and even some adults of Punjabi heritage often
ask the question as to why they should learn Punjabi. It is a
very valid question .As a matter of fact; parents of school-aged
children need to be equipped with the answer when children ask
them the same question. For nearly fifteen years, Punjabi Language
Education Association (PLEA) has been addressing these kinds of
questions. Here, briefly are some of the benefits of learning
Punjabi has become one of the major international
languages. The United Nations has recognized 6,000 languages that
are prevalent around the globe. Punjabi ranks tenth from top.
It is estimated that there are approximately 150 million speakers
of Punjabi spread all over the world in 150 countries. In Canada,
it is the sixth most spoken language. It is expected to jump to
the fourth spot after the 2011 census. Thus, it makes sense to
learn a prominent language especially the one closely associated
with ones heritage
Second, for the South Asian community in general
and the Punjabi community in particular, Punjabi language is a
great facilitator for inter-generation communication. A large
number of Punjabi parents and grandparents aren’t very fluent
Conversely, a fairly large number of Punjabi children and youth
don’t have a good command of Punjabi. Thus the communication
gap is natural. By learning Punjabi, the children and youth will
be in a much better position to communicate with their parents,
grandparents, relatives and extended family.
Third, the technological advances have turned
the entire world into a global village. Countries like India and
China are poised to become superpowers of the future. There are
tremendous trade opportunities between Canada and India in general
and Punjab in particular. Punjabi is the official working language
of Punjab. Thus knowledge of Punjabi will certainly be a great
asset for people interested in trade, business and travel opportunities
Four, in provinces like Ontario, Alberta and
BC, there is a fairly large Punjabi speaking population.
This strong consumer base offers good job opportunities for people
fluent in both English and Punjabi. It has been reported that
in Surrey alone, there are close to 2,000 jobs in which Punjabi
is considered to be an asset. Similarly, places like Abbotsford,
Calgary, Edmonton, Brampton and Mississauga have great job opportunities
for Punjabi speakers. Even some big corporations are on the lookout
for employees with good knowledge of Punjabi.
Five, Sikhism’s holy scripture Shri Guru
Granth Sahib is in the Gurmukhi/Punjabi script. To be able to
read and understand Shri Guru Granth Sahib in the language it
is written has its own unique benefit, charm, joy and pleasure.
Six, Punjabi literature is very rich. It is
confined not only to Punjab or India but also all around the globe
now. To read Punjabi novels, short stories, plays and poetry has
its own unique charm. It is a great way to learn bout ones heritage
through its own literature in Punjabi. This can be best accomplished
by learning Punjabi .It opens up the doors not only to Punjabi
culture but also to a treasure of knowledge and history.
Seven, learning a new language is always an
As a matter of fact, it is great to learn as many languages
Eight, in BC, students are required to learn
a second language from grades 5 to 8 which becomes optional from
grades 9 to 12.For students of Punjabi heritage, it makes all
the sense to learn Punjabi.
Finally, Punjabi is a very rich and simple language.
It is easy to learn. The benefits of learning it are too numerous
to mention. Try it if you haven’t started already.
President, Punjabi Language Education Association