Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Importance of Gurmukhi & Panjabi

In celebration of 300 years of Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee, SikhNet.com held a film festival. The below video is a documentary by Raj Singh portraying the importance of the Gurmukhi script as well as the language of Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee, Gurbani.




On one of the online Sikh forums someone posted a topic: "How Often Do You Speak Panjabi?" The topic is very important and made me think about how much we speak and value Panjabi.

If we look at third generation Pakistani children, they can speak fluent Urdu/Panjabi. On the other hand, most second generation young Panjabis cannot speak fluent Panjabi. This is very worrying, considering the Panjabi language and Gurmukhi script is an integral part of Sikh heritage, culture, and religion.

Some people don't speak Punjabi because they are frightened that they will make a mistake - SO WHAT? I used to make and still continue to make mistakes when speaking Panjabi (even English! lol). That's how one learns. When you say something wrong or mispronounce a word, the other person can correct you and you can learn from it! You only learn through making mistakes and not having the fear to make mistakes.

All Gursikhs should be able to speak Panjabi. If not - LEARN! Guru Sahib gave us Gurmukhi lipi (script) and the Panjabi language is the language of the Sikh Nation. If it had not been for the Guru Sahibs and Sikhs, there would be no Panjab. Panjabi is our language. A nation without its mother tongue is doomed! Look at Africans who were made into slaves. They were deprived of their mother tongue. When they would speak their native language they would be beaten. Eventually they lost all culture, history, and religion and become slaves of western culture and adopted the names of the White masters.


Guru Kirpaa karan.


Another point is that I have noticed some youngsters seem to take the mick and mock Gursikhs which speak good Panjabi or speak more Panjabi than English amongst their Sikh circle. This is really bad. I have seen this happen and its really embarrassing to watch our own people find our own mother tongue embarrassing and something to mock.


A few personal suggestions for learning or improving Panjabi skills:

1. Attend Panjabi class at a nearby Gurdwara, school, or college.

2. Attend Gurbani Santheaa class.

3. Try and listen to people speaking Panjabi (listening to Kathaa is extremely useful).

4. Try and read books or newspapers in Panjabi to pick up new words.

5. Most importantly, do Ardaas! Ask Guru jee to help you learn Panjabi and read Gurmukhi and the Great Guru will truly make the impossible possible and show the way.


6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Waheguru Jee Ka Khalsa Waheguru Jee Ki Fateh!!!

Guru Nanak Sikh School Presents

Monthly Keertan Darbar

On the 13th February 2009

Dedicated to Mothers, Daughters & Sisters of the Sikh Nation!!!

* PROGRAMME NOT TO BE MISSED *

Chaupai Sahibs at 5.00pm

Rehras Sahib at 6.00pm

Followed by: Kirtan, Katha & Talks in English

So event is not to be missed!!!

Guru ka Langar will be served

Venue:
Guru Nanak Sikh School!
Springfield Road
Hayes, Middlesex
UB4 0LT


Also, Bhai Vir Singh Ji's novel based animated movie called "SUNDRI" will be shown @ Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara, Havelock Road, Southall, @ 7.30pm on the 14th February.

Don't miss out!!!


Please bless us with your darshan!!
Benti to pass on this message to others etc.

Anonymous said...

Thats very true

espiecally this part:

"Another point is that I have noticed some youngsters seem to take the mick and mock Gursikhs which speak good Panjabi or speak more Panjabi than English amongst their Sikh circle. This is really bad. I have seen this happen and its really embarrassing to watch our own people find our own mother tongue embarrassing and something to mock."

I never thought of it in that way. You're right.

vjkkvjkf

Anonymous said...

Its true when you say you shouldnt be afraid to speak punjabi in case you make a mistake. This is my problem I used to be able to speak punjabi growing up but once I started primary and then high school I spoke less and less now I just know the basics. I have no punjabi classes near by but both parents speak punjabi so with Guru Ji's kirpa I will have the courage to start speaking my mother tougue again because like you said if we lose our mother tougue/culture then what are we? Hope Guru Ji hears my prayer. Maybe you could add a feature to your blog with a punjabi word of the day in punjabi then english translation? Anything be useful really. Thanks

mandeep

B.K said...

vaheguru ji ka khala vaheguru ji ki phateh paji,

would it be possible for you to do a little posty thing or note about the kaurs kamai coming up in march? if so,
here is the link to sikhsangat, giving the details.

http://www.sikhsangat.com/index.php?showtopic=42935

Mahrajs beant kirpa

thankyou paji

vaheguru ji ka khalsa vaheguru ji ki phateh

Anonymous said...

Long time no update jee.
Not like u bhaji is it?

Daman said...

Great post.

As a Sikh in the United States, I must say that more and more Sikhs are forgetting Punjabi. I know and speak Punjabi fluently, but I fear that kids younger than myself will not learn Punjabi so well, for a weekly punjabi school at one's local Gurdwara can only do so much.

An understanding of the Punjabi language is crucial to the progression of the Sikh religion.

You may also be interested in the Quantum technology behind Gurmukhi, and how each sound of Gurmukhi has an effect on our body.
This topic is addressed in a lecture by Dr. Harbhajan Singh Khalsa(also known as Yogi Bhajan):

http://fateh.sikhnet.com/sikhnet/articles.nsf/9dee2aa6164e1d9b87256671004e06c7/3fef23cc095608c487256671004e4676!OpenDocument#QuantumTechnology

Great blog, by the way.

D. Singh