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Punjabi now third language in Canadian Parliament 

  • About 450,000 Canadians identified Punjabi as their mother tongue
  • 20 MP NRIs speak Punjabi out of 23 NRIs elected October 19 election.
  • Punjabi, spoken by 102  million speakers worldwide
  • In 1908, first Punjabi class started in  Vancouver by Khalsa Diwan Society gurdwara
  • In 1910, first Punjabi newspaper,Swadesh Sewak  was started in Vancouver
  • In 1914, Canada’s first Punjabi book – Dushman di Khoj Bhal (Search of the Enemy) was printed in Vancouver by Munsha Singh Dukhi
  • Over 100,000, speakers of Punjabi in Surrey, Vancouver, is the largest Punjabi-speaking community outside Punjab.
  • Over 90,000 speakers of Punjabi at Brampton in Ontario, near Toronto Airport


Punjabi third language in Canada's House of Commons

Toronto, Nov 2, 2015:  Punjabi has now become the third most common language, after English and French, in the House of Commons of Canada after 20 Punjabi-speaking candidates were elected to the parliament in October.

In total, 23 MPs of Indian-origin were elected after October 19 general elections. Three of the 23 MPs do not speak Punjabi, Hill Times online reported on Monday.

Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau, who won from Papineau, Quebec constituency, will unveil his cabinet later this week. Some of Punjabi-speaking MPs are expected to be included in the Cabinet.

Meanwhile, Navdeep Bains of Liberal Party said that the elected 20 Punjabi-speaking MPs represent all constituents regardless of their party affiliation or ethnic origin.

"It speaks to our commitment to diversity and allowing individual to play an important role in our political institutions," Bains said.

"The main issue to understand is that we have a very clear mandate to execute our platform and we also have a responsibility to represent our constituents, which are very diverse," he added.

"The voice of the Indo-Canadian community will now be very well represented in the parliament. In the overall aspect of it, the South Asian community won," Deepak Obhrai of Conservative Party was quoted as saying.

According to Statistics Canada's 2011 National Household Survey, 430,705 Canadians identified Punjabi as their mother tongue, making it the third most common language after English and French, the report in the daily said.

The 430,705 native Punjabi speakers make up about 1.3 percent of Canada's population and the 20 Punjabi-speaking MPs represent almost six percent of the House of Commons, the report added.


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405 million



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- The word Punjabi is derived from the word Panj-āb, Persian for "Five Waters", referring to the five major eastern tributaries of the Indus River

Punjabi is the official language of Punjab-after 1947 partition, now Punjab State of India and Punjab Province of Pakistan. The eleventh-most widely spoken in India and is the most widely spoken language in Pakistan. Punjabi is the third-most spoken native language in Canada  and fourth-most spoken language in the United Kingdom. Most Bollywood movies now have Punjabi vocabulary mixed in, along with a few songs fully sung in Punjabi. At any point in time, Punjabi songs in Bollywood movies now account for more than 50% of the top of the charts listings

102 million