SBS Punjabi

‘Folk music can revive Punjabi language in foreign lands’, says Punjabi singer Sarabjit Cheema

SBS Punjabi

sarbjit cheema

Sarbjit Cheema at Multicultural Mela Adelaide. Source: Supplied

Published 20 April 2022 at 2:41pm
By Sumeet Kaur
Source: SBS

Famous Punjabi folk singer, songwriter and actor Sarbjit Cheema is on his Australia tour. Being a migrant himself, he talks about the role that Punjabi music and language play in the lives of children and young people from the Punjabi diaspora.

Published 20 April 2022 at 2:41pm
By Sumeet Kaur
Source: SBS

  • Punjabi artist Sarbjit Cheema is in Australia for various Punjabi events
  • He talks about the role of culture and language in shaping the Punjabi diaspora in an exclusive chat with SBS Punjabi
  • The singer says that the younger generation can know a lot about Punjabi culture through folk music
Known for his stirring folk voice, well-known Punjabi singer, actor and writer Sarbjit Cheema is currently in Australia to perform at various concerts planned across the country.

Speaking to SBS Punjabi, Mr Cheema highlighted the interconnection between the Punjabi language and folk music.                    

“Due to deteriorating state of affairs in Punjab and lack of importance given to the Punjabi language in its own state, there has been a tremendous increase in Punjabi population in foreign countries. 

“The older generations want the younger generation to connect with roots, and I think folk is the bridge connecting immigrant children to the Punjabi language," he said.

The foundation of Punjabi music is folk which has the power to move masses
Hailing from village Cheema, near NurMahal in Punjab, Mr Cheema has been in the Punjabi music industry for almost 29 years now.

According to Mr Cheema, he received music as an inheritance from his mother and father, who used to sing sithniya, suhaags and other forms of Punjabi folk songs in their village.

He moved to Canada with his family in 1989. Currently running music academies in Canada, Mr Cheema emphasised the importance of teaching children various instruments or any art form that helps connect the younger generation to the Punjabi culture.

“We have bhangra, acting, singing, instrument learning, Punjabi language classes and turban tying in our curriculum,” he explained,

Mentioning profanity in the lyrics of Punjabi songs, Mr Cheema said, “It’s our responsibility to refrain from playing this kind of lyrics in our functions and events and stop promoting such songs."

Listen to this Punjabi podcast by clicking on the audio icon inside the picture at the top.  

Listen to  Monday to Friday at 9 pm. Follow us on  and .