Punjab Research Group

Sangat: Dialog Punjab

Posted in Events, News/Information, Poetry and Literature by Pippa on March 27, 2015

Sangat: Dialog Punjab

Poetry is engrained in every aspect of the lives, stories, music, politics, philosophy, faith and culture of Punjabis. A number of us are gathering together to explore Punjabi poetry through time (and through this, a history of Punjab), meeting once a month at SOAS.

Starting with Baba Farid (12th century) through to Najm Hosain Syed and Amarjit Chandan writing today, we will focus in each session, on one or two poets; reading their poetry, listening to it being sung, and discussing it along with the historical/political/ philosophical context. We hope to have leading Punjabi poet Amarjit Chandan joining us for most of the sessions, sharing his knowledge, along with other guest writers/scholars/singers.

We welcome those of all ages and levels, those with knowledge, passion and interest that can be shared and developed, but also those who are new to Punjabi poetry/literature, who may not read Gurmukhi/Shahmukhi or be proficient in Punjabi, but want to listen and explore – we especially encourage you to join us.

For further information please contact ssai@soas.ac.uk.

Forthcoming Events

Session 2: Baba Nanak

7 April 2015, Russell Square: College Buildings, 4429, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Session 3: Ravidas and Kabir

5 May 2015, Russell Square: College Buildings, 4429, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Session 4: Guru Gobind Singh

9 June 2015, Brunei Gallery, B104, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Session 5: Sultan Bahu and Bulleh Shah

7 July 2015, Brunei Gallery, B102, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Session 6: Waris Shah & Damoodar (Heer)

4 August 2015, Russell Square: College Buildings, 4429, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Sangat: Dialog Punjab

Posted in Events, News/Information, Poetry and Literature by Pippa on February 19, 2015

Sangat: Dialog Punjab

Poetry is engrained in every aspect of the lives, stories, music, politics, philosophy, faith and culture of Punjabis. A number of us are gathering together to explore Punjabi poetry through time (and through this, a history of Punjab), meeting once a month at SOAS.

Starting with Baba Farid (12th century) through to Najm Hosain Syed and Amarjit Chandan writing today, we will focus in each session, on one or two poets; reading their poetry, listening to it being sung, and discussing it along with the historical/political/ philosophical context. We hope to have leading Punjabi poet Amarjit Chandan joining us for most of the sessions, sharing his knowledge, along with other guest writers/scholars/singers.

We welcome those of all ages and levels, those with knowledge, passion and interest that can be shared and developed, but also those who are new to Punjabi poetry/literature, who may not read Gurmukhi/Shahmukhi or be proficient in Punjabi, but want to listen and explore – we especially encourage you to join us.

The first session is on Monday 9th March 2015, 6-8 pm at SOAS Russell Square (Room T102) and after that, on the first Monday of every month.

Session 1 (Monday March 9th):                  Baba Farid and Shah Hussain

Session 2 (Monday April 6th):                   Guru Nanak

Session 3 (Monday May 4th):                     Sant Ravidas and Kabir

Session 4 (Monday June 1st):                   Guru Gobind Singh

Session 5 (Monday July 6th):                   Sultan Bahu and Bulleh Shah

Session 6 (Monday August 3rd):         Waris Shah and Damoodar (Heer)

Future sessions (open to suggestions): Women’s folk songs, Peero, Amrita Pritam, Shiv Kumar Batalvi, Paash and Lal Singh Dil, Sant Ram Udasi, Gurdas Ram Alam, Najm Hosain Syed, Amarjit Chandan

For more information, email sangat.punjab@gmail.com

Sangat-Dialog.Punjab 2015

In the name of Punjabiyyat

Posted in Articles, Poetry and Literature by Pippa on February 15, 2015

In the name of Punjabiyyat by Mahmood Awan, TNS

In terms of Punjabi nationality, the literature produced by Punjabis is a multi-linguistic phenomenon; be it in Punjabi, English or any other language. Some of these writers may not identify themselves as Punjabis and this sensibility may be only reflected in their writings.

When Gujranwala born, British Pakistani novelist Nadeem Aslam quotes couplets of a rather unknown rural Punjabi Poet Abid Tamimi in his novel Maps for lost lovers (2004), he is subconsciously establishing his native connectivity. He furthers this theme in his latest novel The Blind Man’s Garden (2013) by creating a whole fictional town named Heer (inspired by Waris Shah’s legend) and proudly claims that  all his future novels will be set in this Punjabi town.

When Los Angeles born, Pakistani American Daniyal Mueenuddin’s book of short stories In Other Rooms, Other Wonders (2009) opens with a Punjabi proverb in Punjabi text, he is presumably asserting his Punjabi identity. More so, when one of his short story protagonists on watching a chestnut seller boy in the freezing cold of Paris pulls his American girlfriend closer and whispers: “He is one of mine, from Pakistan, from Punjab.”

Mulk Raj Anand (1905-2004) was our first global offering. Recipient of the prestigious Lenin Peace Prize, he was co-founder of the Progressive Writers’ Movement in the undivided India. He was born in Peshawar to a Sikh mother from Sialkot and a Hindu father from Amritsar. He studied philosophy at Cambridge University where he had gone on the behest of Allama Iqbal and received his PhD from University College London in 1929. He was close friends with George Orwell, TS Eliot, Virginia Woolf, Aldous Huxley, Herbert Read and EM Forster. His best-known novel Untouchable (1935) was issued as a Penguin Modern Classic in 1986.

Anand saw himself as a Punjabi citizen of the world. Khushwant Singh once remarked on Anand’s English as ‘Punjabi English’. In his 1982 interview with Amarjit Chandan, he termed his sense of Punjabiyat as inheritance of Punjabi culture. In response to a question regarding why he opted to write in an acquired language and in which language he thinks, Anand said: “Punjabi is my mother tongue. I frequently use Punjabi vibrations. Vibrations of the characters of my landscape, my region could only express themselves in the versatile movements of the Punjabi speech. I could not perform an operation on my mother’s mouth to make her speak like an English woman, as do other writers. I think in Punjabi mostly and transliterate or transcreate in English. At that time [pre-partition] there were no publishers and the books written about India, certainly by me, were banned and there was no way by which even one could express oneself in Punjabi to the people who were around us in the Indian national movement. Even Puran Singh started writing in English first. He was the writer of the Punjab in English language before me if you like.”…

Any writer is free to write in any foreign language for global reach, acceptability and other related gains. However, it’s also true that in that global space they generally remain ‘categorised’ and ‘compartmentalised’ while their original place always remains vacant in the literary countryside of their mother tongues. It will also be pertinent to mention that no linguistic movement should encourage racists, bigots and chauvinists as there is nothing more sacred than humanity. We strongly believe that within one mother tongue are all mother tongues and each one of them is universal. Our main concern is not those other languages but the contagious ‘self-hate’ virus inherited by most of the ‘well educated’ Punjabis and its bankrupt elite that has consistently demeaned the linguistic uprising and their own cultural identity.

Read full article: http://tns.thenews.com.pk/in-the-name-of-punjabiyyat/#.VOBaHXYtKHl

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