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Commemorative postage stamp released in New Zealand to mark Punjabi Language Week

Postage stamp released in New Zealand to mark the Punjabi Language Week. Source: Supplied by Harjinder Singh Basiala

The New Zealand Sikh community came together in Wellington to release a postage stamp commemorating the second Punjabi Language Week last month.

Punjabi activist Harjinder Singh Basiala told SBS Punjabi that the stamp has been meticulously designed to represent the cultural connections shared by Punjabis of Indian and Pakistani heritage settled in New Zealand.

"The top half of the postage stamp is designed in saffron colour representing the national flag of India, and the bottom part is green - the colour of the Pakistani flag. While the wordings have been written in black to represent New Zealand," he explained.


Highlights:

  • NZ releases commemorative postage stamp to mark the Punjabi Language Week
  • The Language Week was celebrated from November 22 to 28

Punjabi Gurmukhi Shahmukhi
:Postage stamp promoting Punjabi, Gurmukhi and Shahmukhi
Harjinder Singh Basiala

Concerned about the future of the Punjabi language in NZ, Mr Basiala said while the older generation has strived hard to preserve the language, the new generation lacks fluency, posing a threat to its sustainability outside India.

"We, as the first generation migrants, brought a rich collection of Punjabi words with us to foreign countries. But the new generation raised and educated here may not have that fluency or language literacy.

"So it's essential for parents and elders in the community to make consistent efforts to keep the language alive in future generations," he added.

 

Click on the player above to listen to the interview in Punjabi.

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