Join the Dhahan Prize in celebrating excellence in Punjabi literature.
In 2014 the Dhahan Prize took flight and, in 2017, they return to recognize the achievements of Punjabi writers at the 4th annual event with keynote speaker, Khelsilem, educator, writer, and public speaker on issues of Indigenous languages, cultural identity, and governance. Currently a lecturer at Simon Fraser University, he has worked with Indigenous communities in Canada to address the decline of their languages, including the Squamish Language and Halkomelem language.
For work in the Punjabi scripts of Gurmukhi and Shahmukhi, this prize recognizes one outstanding writer with a $25,000 award, as well as two finalists with awards of $5,000. Forging meaningful relationships with writers, community organizations and educational institutions in Pakistan, India and the diaspora, the Dhahan Prize is the world’s signature prize for Punjabi literary works.
This year’s winning book, Khabar Ik Pind Di (News From A Village), is a novel by Pargat Singh Satoj, the recipient of several literary awards at local and state level in Punjab. Pargat Singh’s deep rooted understanding of the rural socio-economic, cultural and historical life of the peasant and lower middle classes coupled with his adept use of language are evident in all his writing.
Co-finalist, Tand Tand Maili Chaadar (Filthy Chador (Sheet)) is a short story collection by Ali Anwar Ahmad. Hailing from Kasur (Pakistan), the burial place of the legendary Punjabi Sufi poet Bhulleh Shah, Ali Anwar Ahmad has had an impressive twenty-seven-year long career as a school teacher. Ahmad has become a prolific writer and in his 2016 Tand Tand Maili Chaadar Anwar has shown the richness of his craft with twenty three stories exposing the hypocrisies of his characters in their day to day lives.
Our other finalist, Paper Marriage (Kaagzi Viaah) is a novel by Nachhattar Singh Brar. At the age of sixty-two he penned his inaugural novel, Kaehri Rutae Ay (Which Season (we) Arrived).The 2017 Dhahan Prize winning novel ‘Paper Marriage’ (Kaagzi Viaah) is a timely account of deceit, cunning and human compassion set in the context of a sham marriage to gain immigration to Canada. Even though Brar commenced his literary journey late in life, his creative output is exemplary and worthy of recognition.
In addition, the Dhahan Prize is very proud, with Coast Capital Savings, to be awarding their very first Youth Awards for creative short stories written by B.C. grade 11 & 12 students. Stories written by talented young people in Punjabi and translated into English; building bridges between communities and cultures.
Visit EventBrite to purchase your ticket for an evening of celebration in a wonderful venue, and enjoy the post-ceremony reception with the authors and other guests.
We hope you can make it and look forward to seeing you. Doors open at 6:30, ceremony begins at 7:00 followed by a reception (cash bar).