Promotion of Punjabi language to instill a sense of pride among those speaking Punjabi and making the youth more aware about the language were the prime focus of the inaugural day of the two-day 6th World Punjabi Conference here on Saturday.
The conference, organised by the Punjab Kala Parishad and World Punjabi Conference, was inaugurated by Punjab assembly Speaker Rana K.P. Singh and Cultural Affairs and Tourism Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu.
In their address, Rana K.P. Singh and Sidhu called upon concerted efforts for development of the Punjabi language so that the new generation could get connected to the rich cultural heritage of Punjab besides the Punjabi language.
"Although Punjabi language is spread across the entire world, even now it is ignored from the point of view of job scenario and course curriculum. Many courses such as LLB, Science and IT are not being taught entirely in Punjabi," Rana observed.
He said Punjabi people had spread out all over the world and have carried the Punjabi language with them. He said Punjabi cannot be associated with a particular region or community.
Sidhu exhorted all the institutions and personalities working on different platforms for Punjab, Punjabi and Punjabiat to work unitedly and said that if the coming generations remained ignorant of the Punjabi language then who would read great works of Punjabi writers and poets.
"We have to make use of new techniques to get the young generation hooked to Punjabi culture and history," Sidhu said.
Chairman of the Punjab Kala Parishad, Surjit Patar, said it was important for people of the region to have a command over their own (Punjabi) language before learning other languages.
"NRI Punjabis are more connected with the Punjabi language whereas the people here in Punjab feel pride in conversing in English and Hindi," Patar said.