L.A. Matheson Secondary School in Surrey, BC graciously hosted the Dhahan Prize Youth Award inaugural launch on February 28. The organizers were very excited to see such broad support for this B.C. province-wide contest, with close to 75 people in attendance, including sponsors, partners, students, teachers/administration, school trustee, aboriginal elder, PLEA board members, authors, and long standing friends of the Dhahan Prize.
Peter Roberts, Coast Capital Savings VP of Business Banking, as presenting sponsor for this, first of its kind, creative writing contest for students studying Punjabi in Grade 11 & 12 welcomed this opportunity to encourage youth to explore their roots and share their stories for all to enjoy. Dhahan Prize Youth Award partner, Tim Hortons, provided drinks and treats for everyone at the Dhahan Prize Youth Award, which was fabulous of them.
Eight B.C. students will be awarded a CDN$500 prize, four in each of intermediate and advanced language skill levels. The contest is open to all secondary students of British Columbia who are studying Punjabi in grade 11 or 12. The writing submitted must be in both Punjabi and English. Submissions will be accepted from March 1st to May 31st, 2017.
Punjabi is the 2nd most spoken language in British Columbia, a province who proudly celebrates diversity. Through literature we can share experiences and culture, thereby increasing understanding and acceptance. This youth initiative will be recognized along with the prestigious award, the Dhahan Prize, which works to preserve the stories, the Punjabi culture, for time immemorial. Barj S. Dhahan, Founder, quoted, “Each language carries its own knowledge, its own spirituality, and its own cultural and intellectual richness. I’ve seen how the loss of language can be devastating to a person, family, and community. I am committed to preserving our mother tongue and the wealth of history and stories embedded in Punjabi.”
For more information about the Dhahan Prize Youth Award visit dhahanprize.com