Jalandhar, October 9
In 2013, the seed of an idea was born to institute an award which will highlight the avant garde literary genius of both the Charhda and Lehnda Punjabs. Today, it has become an inspiration for countless established and promising litterauteurs.
Canadian assembly recognises Dhahan’s efforts
Canada-based entrepreneur Barjinder Singh Dhahan’s initiative has also been recognised in Canada. The three finalists of the Dhahan Prize for Punjabi Literature 2022 — Javed Buta, Arvinder K Dhaliwal & Balwinder Singh Grewal — will be honoured at the British Columbia (BC) Legislative Assembly ahead of the award ceremony on November 17. The BC government has also dedicated a week as a ‘Punjabi Literature Week’
Literary prize named after village
- Founder of the Dhahan Prize for Punjbai Literature, Barjinder Singh Dhahan (in pic) is the son of social worker of late Baba Budh Singh Dhahan of the Bani Guru Nanak Mission Medical and Educational Trust, Dhahan Kleran, Nawanshahr
- Barjinder, a Canadian entrepreneur, instituted the prize after Dhahan village in 2013. The Dhahan prize is awarded to three best works of fiction in Punjabi, penned in the Gurmukhi or Shahmukhi scripts. It involves the highest prize money featuring in a literary award in South Asia
The Dhahan Prize for Punjabi Literature will honour writers in Shahmukhi and Gurmukhi, who have been telling tales of the twin Punjabs with flair. This year, Indian writers Arvinder K Dhaliwal and Balwinder Singh Grewal and Pakistani writer Javed Buta will be awarded in a special ceremony at Surrey, Canada, on November 17. The prize has been established by Canada-based entrepreneur Barjinder Singh Dhahan after Dhahan village in Nawanshar. While Javed Buta hails from Lahore and is presently a resident of Virginia, America, he is being awarded for his story collection in Shahmukhi script "Chaulan Di Burki". Arvinder Kaur Dhaliwal, who is based in Amritsar will be awarded for her Gurmukhi story collection "Jhanjran Valey Paer" and Balwinder Singh Grewal, a resident of Khanna in Ludhiana, will be honoured for his Gurmukhi book of story collections "Dabolia".
Of the three, the author of the winning book will be awarded $25,000 and the other two 10,000 each along with a trophy.
Speaking to Jalandhar Tribune, Barjinder Singh Dhahan, who is also lovingly called Barj Dhahan, said, "The Dhahan award's aim is to honour the writers taking up Punjabi narratives across borders and encouraging Punjabi literature globally. We want to make writers feel valued. When I was in college in Canada, we could study European languages, but no Indian languages. While there are countless awards for English literature, there are few for those in Gurmukhi.
This bothered me. That’s how the award was born. It is also an initiative to provide a voice to those documenting the nuances and traditions of twin Punjabs — both literary and cultural. We can't do that without detailing works in both Gurmukhi and Shahmukhi. Now there are actually three Punjabs — India, Pakistan and the global.”
Dhahan's initiative has also been recognised in Canada - the three finalists shall be honoured at the British Columbia (BC) Legislative Assembly ahead of the award ceremony this year and the BC government has also dedicated a week as a ‘Punjabi Literature Week’.
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