Dhahan Prize awards $25,000 grand prize, 8 youth prizes at UBC gala

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Dhahan Prize WinnerVancouver: Author Pargat Singh Sartoj was ecstatic and gracious as he received the prestigious $25,000 Dhahan Prize for Punjabi Literature.  The 4th annual Awards Gala was held at the Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre on the University of British Columbia campus on Saturday night.

“It is incredibly rewarding to see great Punjabi Literature being recognized on such a large scale. Pargat Singh Sartoj’s work was selected by the jurors to receive the Dhahan Prize from an impressive list of submissions”, said Barj S. Dhahan, Founder of the Prize.

Pargat Singh Sartoj of Punjab, India, won the $25,000 Grand Prize for his novel, Khabar Ik Pind Di (News from a Village).  Finalist Prizes of $5,000 were also awarded to Ali Anwar Ahmad for Tand Tand Maili Chaadar (Filthy Chador (Sheet)) in Shahmukhi script, and Paper Marriage from Nachattar Singh Brar in Gurmukhi script.

Eight BC Students in new Dhahan Prize Youth Award for Creative Writing

The Dhahan Prize, with support from Coast Capital Savings, awarded 8 Punjabi language students in BC with $500 for their creative work in Punjabi.

“With the support of Coast Capital Savings, we now reward young Canadian-born Punjabi youth with a prize dedicated to promoting Punjabi literacy amongst Punjabi youth” says Barj S. Dhahan.  “This is an incredible opportunity to strengthen the Punjabi language amongst the second-generation.”

“This opportunity melded very well with what Coast Capital wanted to do,” says Ian Samson of Coast Capital Savings. “It enlightens youth, gets them involved in their community, and really enhances and preserves their culture.  When we had the opportunity to be involved, when we were asked to be involved, we jumped on it.”

The eight winners of the 2017 Youth Prizes are:

  • Banpreet Kaur AthwalKhud Te Vishvaas Karo (Believe in Yourself)
  • School: Queen Elizabeth Secondary School, Surrey B.C.
  • Teacher: Sarbdeep Johal
  • Gursimar Kaur ButtarKarta Karay So Hoye (Suffering is Medicine)
  • School: Dasmesh Punjabi School, Abbotsford B.C.
  • Teacher: Kuldeep K. Brar
  • Navkiran BaathIk Chhoti Sikhya (A Small Lesson)
  • School: Panorama Ridge Secondary, Surrey B.C.
  • Teacher: Gurinder Bhatti
  • Ramneet KalkettSheeshay Vich Ik Nazar (A Look in the Mirror)
  • School: Princess Margaret Secondary, Surrey B.C.
  • Teacher: Amandeep K. Chhina
  • Chiragroop Singh KahlonSchool Da Darr (School Phobia)
  • School: Dasmesh Punjabi School, Abbotsford B.C.
  • Teacher: Kuldeep K. Brar
  • Karndeep Kaur KularAakhri Saffar (The Last Journey)
  • School: LA Matheson Secondary, Surrey B.C.
  • Teacher: Gurpreet Kaur Bains
  • Sukhraman Kaur Lidder Afsos (Repentence)
  • School: LA Matheson Secondary, Surrey B.C.
  • Teacher: Gurpreet Kaur Bains
  • Vikesh SharmaZindagi Layee Ik Saffar (A Journey of Life Times)
  • School: Burnaby South Secondary, Burnaby B.C.
  • Teacher: Dilpreet Ghtaura