Thursday, May 07, 2015

Speaking Panjabi amongst Gursikhs...


Author: Bhai Kulbir Singh Ji

Ones who are from Punjabi background but don't think in Punjabi and converse in a language other than Punjabi, they are very unfortunate. Sikhs who are not from Punjabi background can be excused if they don't speak Punjabi but Sikhs from Punjabi background ought to speak in Punjabi because not knowing Punjabi is detrimental to their Sikhi.

Often it is seen that youngsters brought up on UK, USA and Canada, converse in English when they get together. When they get married, they continue their habit and this results in their children totally becoming Goray. Already the youngsters born here speak in English and can't even speak one sentence of pure Punjabi and imagine who their children will.

Then they complain that their Sikhi is not good and that they can't focus etc. Punjabi is important to learn because our scriptures are in Punjabi. Our Gurbani is in Punjabi. How can we understand the message of Gurbani if we don't speak and understand Punjabi?

The ones who are handicap in Punjabi, have to rely on translations done by someone else, to understand Gurbani. These unfortunate people can never receive message from Gurbani directly. How sad...

Instead of fixing their problem and trying to learn and speak Punjabi, these people pass on their handicap-ness to their children by speaking pure English with them. This results in their children remaining totally devoid of comprehension of Gurbani.

For the sake of their children and for their own sake, the young couples who are brought up in these Western countries, should try their best to only speak in Punjabi with each other. It's not that hard. It is hard in the beginning but later on it becomes natural.

Punjabi Sikhs lived in Kashmir (a non Punjabi state) and Afghanistan for hundreds of years and they spoke the native language with fluency but they never lost touch of Punjabi and continued to speak Punjabi as well. God knows what happened when Punjabi Sikhs moved to English speaking countries. Why did they totally abandon Punjabi?

There is nothing wrong in mastering the native language of the country you are living in and as the matter of fact, one must be fluent in the native language but why should that be done at the cost of your mother-tongue?

The problem is not that the youngsters here know English very well but the problem is that they don't know Punjabi at all. In Punjab, from childhood, Punjabi, Hindi and English languages are taught and kids can understand and converse in these languages. Why should the kids in English countries totally become handicap in Punjabi and speak only English. The little Punjabi they speak is horrible since they can't speak most alphabets.

It is good time to realize our folly and make earnest efforts to bring Punjabi back into our lives, so that our Sikhi jeevan and our Gurbani understanding does not suffer.


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