Meeting of minds to promote South Asian literature

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Minds PRThe literary tradition of South Asia is well represented, preserved and promoted generally in BC and particularly in the lower mainland of Vancouver. Obviously, numerous mother tongues are spoken by the writers who immigrated to Canada. South Asian Canadians (including people with origins in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Afghanistan, Maldives and Indian Diasporas from Africa, Fiji or the Caribbean) are a major part of Canadian cultural mosaic.

South Asians, who are foreign, born, have very diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds. While they can speak English still the most common languages amongst them are -Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu, Tamil, Bangla and Gujrati. Culturally, many South Asian Canadians maintain strong bonds to their community and their heritage and try to adhere with Canadian social norms.

There are a couple of literary organizations such as South Asian Literary Society of Canada (SALSOC) and Writers International Network which attempt to bring South Asian writers together. Recently a meeting was called by Acharya S. Dwivedi, President of SALSOC to explore the possibility of publishing an anthology of original poetry of South Asian writers in English which intent to introducing it to main stream Canadians.

The prominent writers of various South Asian literary groups met on May17, 2014 at Studio7 in Surrey and worked out some of the details. It was decided that forthcoming anthology should include poetry of young South Asian writers too in a separate section.

Meeting was followed by Kavi Darbar in that  well known poets-Gurcharan S. Gill ‘Mansoor”, Nadeem Parmar, Hafeez Quadri, Nachtar Singh Brar, Jernail Singh Sekha, Ashok Bhagava and Acharya Dwivedi took part.  Participants paid homage to a prominent  and pioneer leader of our community-Jack (Jagat) Uppal.