The 2019 Harjit Kaur Sidhu Memorial Program

The Department of Asian Studies is pleased to invite you to our 11th Annual Harjit Kaur Sidhu Memorial Program. Join us in celebrating over 30 years of Punjabi language at UBC on March 14th!

Thursday, March 14, 2019
6:00pm Reception with food and refreshments
6:30pm Event Program
Multipurpose room, Liu Institute,  6476 NW Marine Dr, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2

Free & open to the public. Please register online


  • “Punjabi in Pakistan: Politics and Language,” a talk with Lahore-based poet & critic Mushtaq Soofi
  • Performances by UBC Punjabi language students
  • Awards for winners of a student Punjabi-language essay contest;
  • A lifetime achievement award for a BC-based Punjabi language writer

Associated Event

“Teach the language of Damodar, Joshua, Nanak and Farid.” This poster from the International Mother Language Day Celebration in Lahore, Pakistan, on February 21, 2014., references four poets – Hindu, Sikh, Christian and Muslim – who all wrote in Punjabi.

Language and Politics in Pakistan: The Case of Punjabi
A longer discussion with Mushtaq Soofi.

Wednesday, March 13th, 2019 
11:30am – 1pm
Asian Centre Auditorium, 1871 West Mall

Register online.

Mushtaq Soofi

Mushtaq Soofi a celebrated poet, critic and advocate for the Punjabi language in Pakistan, where despite the numerical dominance of ethnic Punjabis, Urdu dominates and Punjabi has a peripheral status. In this talk, Soofi will discuss the Punjabi-language advocacy movement in Pakistan and its place in the larger context of language politics in Pakistan.





Made possible by the generous support of the Sidhu family, in loving memory of Harjit Kaur Sidhu (née Gill), devoted wife, mother, and strong advocate for education, Punjabi culture and language, and women’s issues.

Organized by the Department of Asian Studies and co-sponsored by the Centre for India and South Asia Research and the Office of the Dean of Arts.

About the Harjit Kaur Sidhu Memorial Program: 

The Harjit Kaur Sidhu Memorial Program celebrates the rich life of Punjabi language and culture and its importance in BC, in memory of a woman who shared such passions. Our goal is to call attention to important new scholarship on Punjabi language and culture and bring it to our students and the broader Vancouver area audience; encourage and recognize achievements in Punjabi language cultural production; and honor students for their work in learning and using the Punjabi language.

Learn more >>

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