Canadians non-Punjabis start
Richmond, BC, Canada, Jan 15, 2007
It is great news for the well-wishers of Punjabi that MLA’s
Sue Hammell and Bruce Ralston are taking Punjabi language classes
at SFU’s Surrey campus. As a matter of fact, a lot of non-Punjabis,
including Vancouver mayor Sam Sullivan, are also learning this language
privately or in BC’s public schools and post secondary institutions.
This is a very encouraging development for the Punjabi Language
Education Association of British Columbia (PLEA), which has been
promoting Punjabi for the past several years.
I would like to commend Sue Hammell and Bruce Ralston, the two
Surrey MLAs as well as Sam Sullivan and others for their efforts
in learning Punjabi.
There is no doubt that they will find acquisition of a new language
to be very stimulating and beneficial.
Punjabi language, along with its speakers, has achieved a very prominent
place on the international stage. Out of some 6,000 languages recognized
worldwide by the United Nations, Punjabi is reported to rank as
tenth from top. Nearly 150 million speakers of this language are
spread over nearly 125 countries.
Here in Canada, Punjabi is reported to be sixth or seventh most
spoken language. In the Lower Mainland, it ranks as third behind
English and Chinese. In two BC cities-Surrey and Abbotsford- it
is second most spoken language after English. In this context, it
makes sense for the learners of this language as it opens more doors
of new knowledge and opportunities.
Futhermore, new language learners add further to the beauty of Canada’s
linguistic and cultural diversity.
On Sunday, February 25, PLEA will be celebrating the fifth International
Mother Language Day at Ravi Banquet Hall (8166-128 St..) in Surrey
at 2PM. Former cabinet minister and well known community leader,
Moe Sihota will be the keynote speaker. Also, there will be a very
stimulating panel discussion about the future of Punjabi in BC and
Canada. On behalf of PLEA, I would like to invite your readers and
the community to join us in this celebration.