West indian literature

Vancouver-based Dhahan World Prize for Punjabi Literature announces 2022 finalists — Stir


THE DHAHAN PRIZE for Punjabi Literature has announced its nominees for 2022.

The awards aim to bring together Punjabi communities and promote Punjabi literature globally by awarding $25,000 annually to the best published fiction book in either Gurmukhi or Shahmukhi script, along with two runner-up prizes of $10,000 each.

This year’s Dhahan Award finalists are: Jhanjaran Wale Paer (“Feet with Jingle of Bells”), Short Stories by Indian Arvinder Kaur Dhaliwal; Dubolia (“The Diver”), Short Stories of Balwinder Singh Grewal, also based in India; and Chaulan Di Burki (“A Mouthful of Rice”), Short Stories by American writer Javed Boota.

The winner will be announced at a ceremony Nov. 17 at the Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel.

Created in Vancouver in 2013, the Dhahan Prize is the largest international literary prize for fiction books in the Punjabi language. The award paves the way for aspiring and established writers to reach wider multilingual audiences and aims to “cross borders” by “recognizing the best in Punjabi fiction, from Amritsar to Abbotsford and from London to Lahore”. Punjabi is the third most spoken language in Canada.

“Each language carries its own knowledge, its own spirituality and its own cultural and intellectual richness,” says the co-founder of the Canada India Education Society. Barj S. Dhahan. “I have seen how devastating the loss of language can be for a person, their family and their community. I am committed to preserving our mother tongue and the richness of history and storytelling embedded in Punjabi.

The prize is awarded by the Canada-India Education Society and was created in partnership with UBC’s Department of Asian Studies, home to one of the oldest and most comprehensive Punjabi language and literature programs in North America. It is funded by Barj and Rita Dhahan and some of their family and friends.

“Punjabi literature expresses the unique cultural ethos of this global community, depicting the social, cultural and political life of Punjabis in South Asia and around the world,” says Dhahan Prize on his website. “It is modern – with a commitment to social engagement and criticism – but also draws on a rich centuries-old literary reservoir that includes Sheikh Farid, Guru Nanak, Waris Shah, Damodar, Amrita Pritam, Shiv Kumar and Ustad Damman. “

More information is at https://dhahanprize.com/about/.

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