The Punjabi Language

mosque Like so many other Pakistanis, I am Punjabi. But for some reason my parents never spoke Punjabi with me. They always spoke Urdu. At first, when I was young, I never really distinguished between the two. I understood both launguages, though I could only speak Urdu. But as I started to become mature and aware of my surroundings and who I was, I started to explore this “unknown” part of my identity. The first step I took was to learn how to speak the actual language. That took a while, but I will come back to that in a second. The second part then, was to investigate the origin of the language. I accomplished this to a certain extent but not to my full satisfaction. The third step was to research Punjabi poets and literature. It was after all of that, that I was then able to discover the true Punjabi culture and finally realize who I am.

After going through these various steps, I fell in love with the language. Not to the extent that I have become nationalist. Its a love that comes straight from the heart. I came to a point where I realized that at the end of the day, I would not be who I am, I would not be worshipping the God that I do if it weren’t for this language. To me, that is something profound. Now, having this love of Punjabi in my heart for a while, I began to reason why Punjabi is never spoken to children in Punjab (with the odd exception here and there). I had never really found the answer to that although it was right under my nose. I knew that, sadly, Punjabi wasn’t a recognized language in the Province of Punjab. It has no official status in Pakistan at all. I was sitting with a friend of mine in his car a few days ago, having a du Marier. He was on the phone with his wife. And I was very happy to hear that he was speaking Punjabi with her, as opposed to Urdu or English. After he was done speaking to her, I complimented on the fact that he spoke Punjabi with her. This lead to a discussion about the language. He mentioned that he had made the same painful observation I had, that Punjabi parents don’t speak Punjabi with their children. I asked him why that was. His theory intrigued me. His idea is essentially this:
The rule of the English in British India contributed to the development of an inferiority complex among the people. Urdu was seen as a “white collar” language whereas Punjabi was seen as a “blue collar” language. This inferority complex lead to the perpetuation of the Urdu language as a means of pleasing the English during the time of their rule. This inferiority complex is inherant in the Pakistani psyche to this day, especially among the Punjabi people in Pakistan. Evidence of this inferiority complex lies in the fact that in a household of Punjabi speaking people in Pakistan, Urdu is spoken at home despite the fact that Urdu is taught in Schools. Pashtoon people speak Pashto at home, Sindhi people speak Sindhi at home but for some reason, Punjabi people do not speak Punjabi at home. Having said this, if the language isn’t passed down from the parent to the child, the language risks the chance of dying.

And that is exactlywhat is happening to the Punjabi language in Pakistan. More and more people are starting to pick up Urdu as their mother tongue, rather than Punjabi. Less and less punjabi is being taught in homes and schools. The cornerstone of culture is its language. If the language is at risk, so is the culture. It seems that in Pakistan today, the Punjabi culture is slowly dying off as well, though not as fast as the language. Urdu is a language that will always be a part of Pakistan. It has Constitutional recognition as being the national language of the country, as Jinnah had chosen some 50 odd years ago. It is taught in schools all across the country, as it should be. Its poetry is read and appriciated by millions. Seeing the continuation of the domination of the Urdu language in Pakistan, it doesn’t seem that the language is under threat. Punjabi on the other hand seems to be on the losing end. For some reason, people do not see this indigenous language (Urdu isn’t indigenous to Pakistan) as being important enough to make a concerted effort to save.

Credit should go where credit is due. On the other side of the boarder, in the Indian State of Punjab (East Punjab), the prevailing language is Punjabi. Efforts have been made to resist the Hindi influence that the rest of the country is currently experiencing. Punjabi is the offical language of the state and it taught in schools and spoken in millions of homes. In fact, due to the large populaton of Punjabi people in Surrey, British Columbia, Punjabi is now being taught as part of the curriculum in publish schools. On average, more younsters of East Punjabi parents speak the indigenous language than do youngsters of West Punjabi origin. Moreover, this push of language has further led to the eventual preservation of their culture and traditions until the end of time.

Pakistan is in danger of losing one of the oldest languages in the world. And it is happening faster than we all think. People of Pakistani Punjabi origin need to take immediate steps to preserve our language so that future generations can appriciate where they came from and who they are.

This topic of interest developed a few months ago and was going nowhere up until a few days ago with my friend. I am sure that not all of my facts in this entry may be correct and so I plan to investigate more and conduct a through research of this idea so look forward to that in the near or far future. In the meantime, please enjoy one of Punjab’s cultual icons: The Great Arif Lohar, son of The Great Alam Lohar.


88 responses to “The Punjabi Language

  1. Dear Friend!
    Greetings, Salam Aleikum!
    In our Cricket Club in Shizuoka, Japan, we happen to have the pleasure to count two members of different nationalities. One is Pakistani, one is Indian. I could not understand the language they were speaking. I am fairly used to the sound of Urdu, but I knew it wasn’t. So I asked what Arbab spoke to Kunwar.
    He replied:
    Oh, Robert we are both Punjabi. It feels so good to speak our mother tongue!
    No need to say that our two friends have developed a helathy batting rivalry!

  2. It does feel good to speak one’s mother tongue!

  3. Does it not?
    Greetings again and thanks for your kind message!

  4. Badaa changaa lagyaa twadi eh post vekh ke. Apani maanboli naal pyaar vekh ke. Main vee ik punjabi New Delhi vich rehndaa haan. Mere Parents vee Pakistan chon India aaye see 1947 vich. Je tusi Punjabi pad sakade ho te mera Punjabi Blog dekh sakade ho.

  5. Hi There,
    I’ve only just stumbled upon your blog and your entry on punjabi, but i’m soooo pleased to see that i’m not the only one who feels this way about punjabi and pakistani’s. My own family hails from punjab in inda, prior the formation of pakistan, and although my brother and I were taught punjabi at home many of my cousins were taught a paired down version taking may influences from urdu. Whilst I have no problems with urdu (as it’s a beautiful language) I also stongly believe that we can only truely know where we are from by knowing and further learning punjabi as a language and as a culture. So well done and I look forward to learing more from your discussions and discoveries.

  6. Well said. My Father is from Punjab Pakistan, the Rawalpindi area and my mother is Dutch. I was brought up in Holland but i will allways be thankfull to my father for teacvhing me the Punjabi and Pothwari (pahari) language next to the commonly spoken urdu language.

    People need to recognise that the punjabi culture is a heritage, a wealth, the Saif ul Malook and Waris’s pure treasure. And what i see is that people speak urdu to increase their status and not be compared to the rural common folks..and that’s sad. Keep the tradition alive 😉

  7. Beautiful topic. Highly thought provoking. I say the following to those parents who speak Urdu with their kids:

    Kaale kadeen na hovan baage
    Bhaanve sau manh saabun lagge

    {Dark people can’t become white, even if they bathe with 100’s of kilos of soap}.

    Therefore, speaking Urdu at home does not make anyone a better Pakistani.



    p.s.: Please check out the website we have started to promote the Punjabi literature:

  8. Thank you all for leaving comments. I really didn’t expect to receive such a positive response from people. I will refine my thesis one day. I just don’t have the time right now.

  9. You have made an excellent point. I too have been feeling the same way. I live in America and my parents are from Rawalpindi. They speak both Punjabi and Urdu with eachother, but oddly enough, they speak only Urdu with me and my siblings. I can understand Punjabi very well, but have trouble speaking it proficiently. I wish that I could speak Punjabi better, because as you said, it’s part of our identity. Yeah I’m really glad that I can speak Urdu well, considering that I live in an English speaking country, but then there’s the regret that I don’t know my other mother language. I definitely believe that Punjabi parents should speak Punjabi with their children.

  10. Brilliant article,
    I myself speak Pahari, though debated about whether its Punjabi or a different language altogether, it does share many similarities. Having been brought up in England, I’ve not met many Punjabis and only ever saw the odd film when I was younger. However the first time I listened to Saif ul Malook- that was it, my love for the language began, and I would like to congratulate you on having such rich literature in the Punjabi language!

  11. Simply overwhelmed after reading it.

    Well I will say Punjabis have not got independence yet. Rather nobody in South Asia has got independence. In 1947 only Muslim fundamentals and Hindu fundamentals got independence. This is why they made it sure that if they want that there respective ideologies should survive that got to suppress and eventually wipe out the beautiful diversity of south Asia and they are doing this through Hindi and Urdu languages.
    But Punjabi people will always remain the sons of Dulla Bhatti and Bulle Shah. It’s true that Pakistan govt. is hell bent upon to make them the sons of Ahmad Shah Abdali and Mehmmod Gajanavi forgetting that these very people used to plunder Lahore and loot Punjabi women irrespective of whether they are Hindu, Muslim or Sikh. This is why Pakistan govt. names its missiles after the name of these draconian barbaric invaders. I would say that who are Heer Ranjha. Are not they dying with the death of Punjabi language.
    In Indian Punjab either things are not that good. Indian govt. is making every effort to destroy Punjabi culture and heritage.
    May be once the great and beloved language and culture of Baba Sheikh Farid, Bulle Shah, Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Waris Shah and so many innumerable Punjabi cultural and spiritual legends is heading towards its death.
    What a shame for we all Punjabis. We have no write to call ourselves the son and daughters of land of five rivers.

    A day will come may be 100 years from now when our future generations will forget everything about Punjabi culture. They will not have that great Punjabi spirit of surviving against all odds and philosophy of Universal brotherhood. They will be identity less people who will have no pride and will live as slaves of Hindi and Urdu people.

    What a shame that two languages called Urdu and Hindi which got birth in Uttar Pradesh will one day kill Punjabi and will be the owner of land of five rivers.

    • hindi aur punjabi ek dusre ke kafi nazdik hai. bharat main ek hindi bolne wala jiska mother tongue hindi hai bo bhi bare shok se punjabi gaane gata hai. punjabi is a rich language with glorious history. hindi hindi belt ke logo ki matrbhasa hain. urdu to hindi aur farsi ke milne se bani thi jo darbar ki bhasa thi.

      desh isliye bata ki humare desh ke log khud ko punjabi na samaj kar hindu,musalman ,sikh,christian samjh bethe. bharat ho ya pakistan punjabi language hamesa jinda rahega. sabko apne ghar se pyar hota hai. punjabi kisi bhi majhab ko apna le rahega to wo ;punjabi hi.

  12. Wonderfully written! Your thoughts and ideas are great! I agree with everything you have said about not forgetting who we are and where we come from.
    If you ever get a chance please visit It is a website filled with punjabi poetry, music, and even lessons on how to read in Shahmukhi and Gurmukhi.
    Great job once again!

  13. Great blog going here. Sach bhatey likhey hain. Pakistan de punjabi sab urdu nu hazoor samjde hain. Why is that the case (that pakistani punjabis think urdu is superior)? thats pretty sad since they are suppressing their own mother tounge and taking on a language that was created in Uttar Pradesh, India (most probably don’t even know that, even thought Urdu is thought of as anti-Indian i guess). Anyways I am a sikh punjabi and I have some friends that are pakistani punjabi and speak punjabi but many of the others say the same thing i hear over and over: that their parents speak punjabi between themselves but only urdu to their children. I notice most of the ones whos parents speak punjabi with them are from the rural areas and the ones who speak urdu with their children are from the cities such as lahore or rawalpindi. Sada virsa ta punjabi hain, aapa sadi pasha/boli nu izit kyon ni de sakde?


    • Stop calling yourself a punjabi if you are so into dumping your mother tongue. Punjab is the land and punjabi is the language. Punjab was the eastern most state of Persia for over 700 years and yet the language survived, who are you to speak against this beautiful language?

  15. I am sorry Suleman but I really don’t see the logic in your statement.

  16. Read the blog about the non-use of Punjabi language by the Punjabi people. I also feel uneasy at the unusual treatment meted out to the mother tongue by punjabi speaking people. I will eloborate on this matter later.

  17. Hi there,

    This is a wonderful post and I came across it after doing a quick google search on “Punjabi”. My father is from Lahore (Pakistani Punjab) and my mother is from Patiala (Indian Punjab) and we now live in the States. I share your sentiments on the Punjabi language and culture. To keep up with Punjabi (I know no one in my town who speaks it here in the US), I call my cousins in Punjab nearly once a week so that I can have a down-to-earth conversation in my mother tongue.

    I do agree with many of the responses to your post that some kind of “inferiority complex” and the “grass is greener on the other side” syndrome is driving Punjabis away from their culture. In fact the new sweep of westernization that has come with cable television is changing the culture so fast that each time I visit Punjab it is like a new country, quite unlike the one I left behind on my previous visit. It is changing too fast and thus the need to document and preserve the culture that much more urgently. What a boring world it would be if everyone assimilated to the West.

    In my opinion though, posts such as this are a good start to bring about some change. A few of my Punjabi friends and I in the US have come up with a plan. We feel that we, who are looking in from the outside know what the grass is like on the other side and can help raise awareness about this issue. For example, I am beginning to write a column for the a newspaper in Punjab (India). Additionally, we plan to have discussions with several professors and other prominent Punjabis on the creation of a joint Pakistani and Indian “Punjabi Historical and Cultural Society” in recognition of the fact that we have such a rich history that has yet to be fully understood on a large scale. Additionally, there is a need to document the many vanishing indigenous cultures in greater Punjab, everything from the snake charmers and the gypsies to the interesting tribes in the North Western Frontier in Pakistan, the Kalasha of Chitral… Do stay tuned and please join in the effort! Since all these things are only being “talked about” for now, I have no website to point you to yet. Either way, for now I think we can all play a role in our own way, such as you writing this post.

    ps. I also agree with Gabaroo, that Punjab was split right in the middle to benefit a few fundamentalists… Not sure if it really has benefit the majority of the Punjabis.

  18. I was born in East Punjab (India) & completed my primary education there. Then, I was too young to distinguish between the two languages i.e. Hindi & Punjabi. I was entirely exposed to Punjabi which was also the medium of instruction at the school. Though, Hindi was introduced at third standard but still it was a stranger language to me. Then we migrated to Delhi in April 1971 & here I came in direct contact with Hindi which was also the medium of instruction & lingua franca here. I picked up the language (Hindi) speedily & also understood the differences between the two. I found a lot of Punjabi people here at Delhi but was confused to notice their love for Hindi rather than Punjabi their mother tongue. They also avoided speaking Punjabi with their children except odd exemptions. As you have already made in depth study regarding the plight of the language I think it unnecessary to repeat the same things here again. I suggest you to read the article “The language divide in Punjab” on, where the writer has extensively tried to explain causes leading to the precarious condition of the Punjabi language.

    Radio was rampant in those days. One day I accidentally tuned to Radio Pakistan, Lahore & was pleasantly surprised to listen to the Punjabi broadcast from there. Till that time I assumed that the Punjabi language was only spoken by the Indian Punjabis. I put my query to my father but his reply could not satisfy me though he studied the Urdu language in undivided Punjab & lived there among other fellow Muslims. Slowly with maturity, I grasped the whole situation but like you I am still confused as to why Punjabi people cannot give due respect to their mother tongue unlike Bengalis, Tamils etc., etc. irrespective of their religious affiliations. Some time back I happened to watch a Punjabi programme on PTV (Perhaps “Punjabi Darbar’) & was happy to listen to the language. I would like to make some comments here which should be taken in good spirit. Punjabi Muslims are dominating majority in Pakistan. But due to their scant respect towards their mother tongue, they failed to understand the love of other linguistic communities towards their mother tongue especially Bengalis of East Pakistan. Urdu was also imposed there & they could not compete for govt. jobs due to their unfamiliarity with the language. One of the reasons of revolt in East Pakistan was also the perceived danger of the Bengali people losing their identity through the imposition of Urdu language.

    Punjabi Pop has popularized the Punjabi language more than any other medium in a short span of period (since nineties to date) in India. Visit any marriage ceremony (Punjabi/Non-Punjabi) in Delhi you will only listen to Punjabi Pop being played there. One can also listen to Punjabi Pop in private buses in Delhi. Ironically, Punjabis may loathe at the very idea of speaking & listening to Punjabi but non-Punjabis (especially at Delhi) are showing some interest in learning/understanding the Punjabi language so that they can better understand Punjabi song/Pop.

    In many schools at Delhi Punjabi is an optional language. Instances, though very scare, regarding opting Punjabi by the non-Punjabi students are there. At Delhi Govt. signboards are also compulsorily written in Hindi, English, Punjabi (Gurmukhi) & Urdu.

    Pakistani Punjabi musalmaan valon is tran dian gallan sunkar bahut changa lagga. I salute you for showing so much respect to your (& also mine) mother tongue Punjabi.

  19. I agree with most comments posted here.
    I am Hindu-Punjabi and was born and brought up in Delhi. Punjabis are the only people I find who are ashamed of speaking their own language. This is correctly portrayed in Gurdas Mann’s song, “punjabiye zaban ni rakane mere desh diye”. Though I also feel that Punjabis are now becoming a bit more conscious of their heritage and language. I hope we can focus on “punjabiyat” that unites us all, rather than fighting over religion. Our culture is one.

  20. I agree with most comments posted here.
    I am Hindu-Punjabi and was born and brought up in Delhi. Punjabis are the only people I find who are ashamed of speaking their own language. This is correctly portrayed in Gurdas Mann’s song, “punjabiye zaban ni rakane mere desh diye”. Though I also feel that Punjabis are now becoming a bit more conscious of their heritage and language. I hope we can focus on “punjabiyat” that unites us all, rather than fighting over religion. Our culture is one.

  21. First of all I would like to tell you that if we compare both undian and pakistani punjabi
    than i find that indian punjabi has made far developement than pakistani punjabi. In india hindi never try to supress any regional language and people in their regions has full freedom
    regarding using and learning their language . That is why today India is one and united But for natinal and internatinal communications Hindi and English are very. Imp. we shoul not mix these things togetherAnd give due respect to every language .
    But unfortunately there is extremely a sad fate of punjabi in pakistan . I surprised to read a column on one punjabi site that there is not a single newspaper in punjabi publish in pak. punjab. More over you are not allowed to speak punjabi in punjab aasembly , expect with special permission. Punajbi is not taught even as a language in any school, parents scold their children if they feel that they are trying to speak punjabi.
    Muslim religious leaders like Mullas and maulivies poisioned against punjabi language .
    Punjabi is considered as as language of illitrate
    people It is a sighn of shame and insult in pak.punjab.
    I think it is first time in the history of the world that there are some people on this earth who stand against their own mother language
    SHAME! SHAME! SHAME ! on pak. punjabis
    ” Jera shakas apni maa noo dutkaar deve oosno
    sari duniya lanat bhejdi hai, ate allah de ghar weech aise shaks de koi jagah nahin”
    Parminder gill

    • i agree with parminder gill. meri matrbhasa hindi hai. par main punjabi sunna,bolna aur punjabi culture,punjabi khana pasand karta hoo. hum sab milakar bhartiya hai. apne mother tongue se pyaar karo ye tumhari zamin sejuri pehchan hai. english bolne wala english,french bolne wala french aur punjabi bolne wala punjabi. aise logo par lanat hai jo apni languge ko padhna aur likhna pasand nahi karte. punjabi is a rich language.

  22. Very interesting topic! You’v put up – I must say I am one of the lucky few who has never had to face the ‘language’ issue at home or anywhere else!

    My father is from Gujrat -Punjab & my mother is from Faisalabad Punjab & both have always spoken in Punjabi to me and my siblings since we were babies. Never in Urdu

    All my cousins 90% are all Punjabi’s & we always communicate to each other in our mother tongue!

    The remaining 10% of my family are from Karachi and Muzzafarabad & they speak Urdu Which is no problem because we all can spk Urdu too ! But we hardly use it since Punjabi is the dominating language!

    Yes Punjabi is not written.published in newspapers or used in parliament which is such a big shame! But having said that majority of the ppl in Pakistan speak Punjabi I have been to all cities and find all kinds of different dialects and accents which were so enriching to hear!

    Even when I went for Hajj last year every single Pakistani spoke in Punjabi I cudnt spot a single person talking in Urdu Pak Punjab is huge our Punjabi speakers far outnumber anybody else We must look at these positive aspects!

    Punjabi from what i’v seen is looked down upon by the so called complexed ‘Elite’ Urdu speaking community (no offence to Urdu speakers)

    They tend to always judge Punjabi in the negative way they consider it an abusive and crude disturbing language because of the impact it has when it’s used to curse. They always look at this aspect and ignore the other aspects of how powerful it is when used in poetry it’s so profound like no other language They themselves forget that any language when used to curse will sound bad! Why single out Punjabi for???

  23. Great post i happened to come across it! We must all come together to strengthen our one bond and that is our mother tongue punjabi

    i am from chandigarh.when i was in school my punjabi teacher told me that the real true punjabi speaking people and areas were given to pakistan during partion of india and pakistan and most of them live in lahore and shekhupura ,faisalabad , gujranwala was where our great Ranjit singh was born

    so these areas the pakistani punjab speaks good punjabi as i was told and understands i beleive ppl from all these areas speak v.good punjabi !! we hav to fight to keep our punjabiyat alive

  24. Je apni maa boli nu bhul jaaoge,
    Kakhaan waang rull jaoge…

    I think this space on the internet is BEST i had ever come across on the internet ever since i started using internet.

    i am from patiala (INDIAN PUNJAB). Today is a HISTORIC DAY for punjabi languge as here in indian punjab, a legislation has been passed in the punjab assembly about punjabi language.
    I n this legislation, it has been made mandatory for all the schools in punjab to teach punjabi as a subject upto class tenth.
    So, i think punjabi language will benefit a lot from this move..

  25. Meri is post de saare readers nu benti hai ki kirpa karke apni maa boli nu kade vi na bhuleyo..

    Punjabi saadi maa boli hai. baaki jiniaan vi languages ne, like hindi, urdu or english, eh taa saarian saadiaan maasiaan ne.
    PAR saadi maa boli ta sirf punjabi hai…

  26. one more thing to all readers, please post your views regularly and not after two months or three months gap as you can see from the dates of above posts..

    Be more active towards your mother tongue….

  27. Great post, us Punjabis are one, regardless of where we live , where we come from(Be it east punjab or west punjab) and what religions we follow. We should be proud of our heritage and language and speak as far as possible in Punjabi with people who speak/understand this language.

    Boht vadiya lekh. Assi punjabi saare ek han paaven assi kithe vi rahiye ja fer kithon di vi saddi jam-pal hove ya koi vi kom ch assi jamme hon. Saanu saddi virsa hor bhasha te fakhar hona chahida hai . Hor sannu wadh to wadh punjabi ch hi gal karni chahidi hai khas kar os bandeyaan naal jina di vi bhasha punjabi hai


    I’m a Punjabi from India . Even though I was not born and brought up in east punjab my parents still passed down this language to me and my brother and we’ve been speaking this language at home and elsewhere ever since we were born. We still speak only punjabi at home even though we haven’t even visited punjab many times, I personally have been to punjab just 2 times , last being a decade back. I’m a fluent punjabi speaker even though we never had punjabi even as an optional subject in school and there aren’t even very many punjabis here where where i live. I can even read and write punjabi(in Gurmukhi script ) without going thru any ‘formal’ training.

    Regards and Godbless my fellow punjabis, lets keep our LANGUAGE ALIVE and KICKING .


  28. It is a matter of concern for all Punjabis whether Hindu or Muslim, that the influence of Punjabi is fast eroding. Punjabi Hindus in India , write Hindi as their first language, but still call themselves Punjabis. dont know the logic behind it.

  29. Punjabi had developed into a strong written language among Sikhs with the use of Gurumukhi script because of this strong literature has developed in Punjabi and the language has been a medium of instruction in Indian Punjab for decades.

    In Pakistan, Punjabi language had a wonderful and strong oral tradition but a written language did not develop and only recently with promotion of Shahmukhi is it coming-into-being.

    Urdu-speakers who migrated from India during partition (mohajirs) tended to be better educated then Punjabis and so they were made up the political class in Pakistan. Secondly, Punjab was devastated by the partition and this made it difficult for Punjabis to organize in the new state of Pakistan.

    Due to these political dynamics, the Punjabi language was kept from political patronage even within the state of Punjab. However, these realities are beginning to change as your post shows, as Punjabis begin to realize that their lack of support for their language denies them opportunities for full growth and participation in the nation.

    As awareness is raised, I believe Punjabis will become proud once again of their language. Proud not in an aggressive way but in developing self-confidence in their identity, history and future development.

  30. Excellent post. I do agree that the future of Punjabi in Pakistan is rather weak. The problem arises when people try to associate religion with language. And religion usually prevails. Urdu is seen wrongly by many people as a more Islamic language and Punjabi somehow seen as the language of Sikhs.

    Sikhs are usually the only ones who proudly say that they are Punjabi. They have done so much to promote Punjabi language and culture. People will realize their mistake after they lose their language and culture. A Sikh in a country like United States will proudly say “my son speaks very good Punjabi”. On the other hand, Punjabi Muslim will proudly say “my son speaks very good Urdu”

    Punjabi is a beautiful and rich language with rich history. I am proud of being a Punjabi. Their is a saying in Punjabi that
    “maa boli nu bhul jaoge, oh kakhan vangu rul jaoge”.

    And their is also a curse that “ja tenu teri ma boli bhul jawe” meaning “I hope you forget your mother language. I hope Pakistani Punjabi realize this before it is too late.

  31. AoA,

    Punjabi is a dying language in Pakistan and is not being revided Alhamdullilah. In Punjab educated people speak Urdu and kids learn Urdu at school, Punjabi has no official status. We should leave this language for the Sikhs and focus on Urdu as the language for Muslims.

    JK, no all Punjabis are not one. As a Muslim I am not one with those who assicoate partners with Allah (SWT) and who do not accpe the prophethood of Muhammad (SAW). All Muslims are one and in the Indian sub-continent Urdu should be the unifying language of Muslims.

    • You’re logic is highly flawed but you are certainly entitled to your opinion.

    • How dare you say Alhamdullilah! My family became Muslim far long before Urdu was invented and the Mughals came to Pakistan, thanks to the sufis. Punjabi is a HUGE part of South Asian Muslim culture. Hell, a large part of your ancestry (if you too are Punjabi) probably became Muslim the same way.

      A Muslim is not a Pakistani, a Muslim is a person who follows the path of Islam and a Muslim can be from any race, creed, country and speak any language. If you tell a Malaysian to forget their language or a Bosnian to spoke speaking his they would laugh at you. The only way Punjabi has survived in Pakistan is due to majority Muslim Punjabi families speaking it and keeping it alive, and to some how imply that they are less Muslims because they don’t speak Urdu is horrible, go to any Muslim mosque in the world in the west and you will hear hundereds of languages, all from good honest Muslims. As any good Muslim knows only Allah (SWT) can judge.

      All Muslims are one, but separate if they are from the sub continent? isn’t that a bit confusing? Am i supposed to be closer to an Indian Muslim than a Saudi Arab Muslim because my family live nearer to them? Maybe if we started seeing EVERYONE as brothers we would be at a much better place.

      If you read your history brother, you would know that if it wasn’t for the British you would probably be talking about the superiority of Persian! Hell if the Mughals decided that Chaghatay, was to be the language of the court and elite, you would be speaking Chaghatay,. Lets not play Language Olympics here.

  32. A0A,

    My opinion is based on facts. I see you have Indians on your blog trying to set Pakistanis against one another on the basis of language. Punjabi Muslims glorified Urdu and looked up to it. You must realize that Punjabi is not a literary language like Urdu, never has been. Of course then it makes sense to use widespread Urdu.

    When a Muslim from another country such as Lebanon asks where are you from, why don’t you say Punjab and that you speak Punjabi instead of Pakistan and speak Urdu? Is it because they will automatically associate you with Sikhs and consider you less Muslim? (They probably will!)

    • Arshad sahib, urdu is not a muslim language. I dont understand why people associate with Islam. Besides many persian,turkic and arabic vocabulary , it still has majority of words and phonology derived from hindi, punjabi,gujrati sindhi and bengali.If u still want to connect religion with language , then my dear u should learn and speak arabic instead of urdu because it is the mother language of Hazrat Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), and all the authentic Islamic literature (including the Holy Quran and Sahih Ahadees) are in arabic.

    • Brother, are you telling me that the people in rural sindh, Balochistan, KhyberPak and Punjab who speak their mother tongues inferior to you or somehow under the control of Indians? I know of several Masjids who give sermons in Punjabi too, are they commiting shirk somehow?

      Please do not bring religion into it as your argument has no basis at all. Punjabi has been a literary language long before Urdu existed, this is why it was known as the language or poetry, Urdu is beautiful, but it is a fairly new language created so the people of India (whatever their religion!) and the invading armies could communicate. No one is saying you shouldn’t speak Urdu, the post you made? it’s in English! Will you cease speaking/talking/typing English since it is apparently a non-Islamic language?

      If someone from Lebanon asks you what language you speak, you tell them what language you speak. I assure you, the lebanese do not care at all if you speak Urdu or not! Even Mohammed Ali Jinnah saab knew Gujrati! And I believe he spoke in English a lot of the time!

      The only Islamic language is Arabic, maybe you should speak that instead and promote it in Pakistan instead of urdu?

  33. First of all, nice post.

    However a few bones to pick.
    If your religion is Islam, you should be a Muslim first. Most Panjabis are Muslim, however, there are minorities like Sikhs and HIndus. But when your forefathers accepted Islam, they declared they had more in common with other Muslims than them. Thats not to say dont be nice, or deny that many Sikhs/Hindus do share common ancestry, but at the end of the day, who are you aligned with, Muslims or non-Muslims. If you disagree with me then check what your priorities are.

    Anyway, it is a widely known fact outside of the cirlce of Afghans and Pakistanis that if we say “we are Panjabis”, then most will be like “o your Sikh”. Thats because outside of Asia, Sikhs have a more known face, and they wrongfully associate ALL Panjabis themselves with being followers of Sikhism. Sikhs are only 25 million, Muslims are 75 million or so.

    Pakistani Panjab is different in its own sense from Indian Panjab. Paki Panjab is known as Lahnda construct, and has Hindkoh, Potthwari/Mirpuri, Jhangochi, Gojjari and Serayki (debatable) dialects, none of which Sikhs understand (unless their families fled from those dialect speaking areas). The only Panjabi they would understand is the Panjabi of Lahore and neighbouring districts. Indian Panjab has only two or so dialects, and is classidied as a Central Indian language, not associated with Lahnda.

    Sikh Panjabi culture is COMPLETELY different from Pakistani Panjabi culture. There are overlapping similiarities, but they have their own culture (5 ks, Gurus) and we have our own (based on Islam, but keeping the non-Islamic parts ie. language, tribal customs that are not haraam, poetry, etc.) Sikhs are only 500 years old, they mostly came from low class Hindus, or Muslims themselves who decided to convet to Sikhism. So, Panjabis before 1500 were either: Hindu, Zoroastrian, Buddhist, shamanist, Muslim. So in fact, Muslim Panjabi culture is older thatn Sikh culture.

    now as far as Urdu goes, I was deeply saddened to find out Urdu was imposed, and has the been the most dividing factor in Pakistan (ironically). Why did Jinnah not choose another language for national union. Urdu is not native AT ALL to Pakistan. And if any losers think otherwise, prove to me it was, otherwise shut up. Urdu is the language of teh Indian Muhajirs, whom the people of Pakistan (Paxtuns, Sindhis, Panjabis, Balochis, Kashmiris, etc) gave a home to. And what do they do in return? They spit on the ethnic Pakistanis, thats like a guest coming to your house and kicking you out, sayin he would do a better job of running it. I will be honest, I know Urdu, and it has its benefits now because eveyrone does speak it, but I dont have pride in Urdu, nor do i activily pursu Urdu. I much rather learn Panjabi dialects, Balochi, Paxto, Kashmiri, Balti, etc. I have no care for Urdu, its just an advantage, nothing more. I try to explain this to other Pakis Panjabis who come from educated class, and they never listen. Worst part is when Indian MOhajirs try to pass Urdu off as derivative of Persian. It has Persian vocabulary, but ITS NOT PERSIAN BY GRAMMAR AND ORIGIN, ITS SISTER OF HINDI. Panjabi, Sindhi, Kashmiri, and Gilgiti languages are all older than Urdu.

    In short, two things: Our side of Panjab is unique from Indian side; we have our own dialects, our own historical sites (Taxila, Harrapa, Multan, Lahore, Jhelum, Margala Hills, Khewar Salt Mines, Darbars, etc.) and we are the progenitors of the history of the Panjab, in being the frontier before India and being literally, the most mixed land in the world. And second, we need to wake up to not only protect Panjabi languages but all Paki languages, especially like Kalasha-mon, Chitrali, Shina, Balti, Kashmiri, Barushaski, etc.

    It seems like I am anti-Sikh, but im not. Im stressing the differences because if you do value Islam, we as Panjabi Muslims have to set our selvs apart from the non-Muslims, just look up Hadiths or ask learned sane Muslim scholars, do you see Bosnian Muslims acting like Serbian Orthodox these days? Bosnians/Serbs are exact same ethnic groups too, but Bosnians identify more with Turkiy now, while Serbs with Russians. If the case is that Islam is not important to you, then do what you want. but I as a Muslim Panjabi, am Muslim first, Panjabi second, keeping only traditions of our ancient heritage that do not contradict Islam, as the sunnah says. Today, as Muslim Pakistani Panjabis, our brothers are paxtuns, Balochis, Kashmiris, Sindhis, Chitralis, Baltis. We have nothing in common with Sikhs anymore other than language (if that) and perhaps common ancestry, but it ends there, culture/tradition, poetry, dress, family life is all different.

  34. And its time to begin a language rights movement in Pakistan Panjab, give patronage to all languages in each province: Balochi and Brahui in Balochistan; Sindhi and Memoni in Sindh; Paxto and Chitrali in NWFP; Kashmiri and Shina and Balti in Azad Kashmir; and ESPECIALLY Hindkoh and Potthwari and Serayki and Jhangochi Panjabi in Panjab.

    Saving the languages of Panjab from dying is the duty of all inhabitants of the Panjab. I hope that the generation of today strives to learn all Panjabi languages and teach it to their children, not unlike many of our parents who saw shame in them and rather chose the language of another people (and country) to teach.

    • I have been so encouraged by posts like yours and the Original post. It saddens me to see the Punjabi youth of today (and their parents) not speaking in their language! I was recently watching a documentary on Al-Jazeera which was from Rawalpindi and everyone in the video was speaking in Urdu! I was shocked! The main person in the doc was speaking to someone in Lahore via webcam, and they spoke in Urdu! These were rich/upper class people I guess, but it upset me. A day will come when a child in Punjab will pick up a book of Baba Farid’s poetry and not understand a word and that will be a sad day! Our language is beautiful, I wish it people realised that!

    • europe ka kaun sa taraaki wala mulk majhab ke basis par bana hai. england,france,germany,russia,italy ke log pehle english,french,german,russian,italian kehlana pasand karte hain.christian baad main. nationalism arises in europe due to language and industrialisation.

  35. PS. to those who say “no we should learn Urdu because its a Muslim language blah blah”, its frikkin the same language as Hindi, and more peole speak HIndi thatn Panjabi, so the idea of Urdu as the Muslim language is a flawed logic, Urdu and Hindi are dialects of a larger family. Bollywood uses Urdu, so how do you like them apples.

    the true people of pakistan should wake up and make sure that urdu does not really take over the country. keep our 30+ languages alive, leave urdu for the mohajirs who were given homes at the expense of sindhis.

    • Exactly! I love my Muhajir friends, but many of them speak more than one language too, for instance there are Gujrati speakers in Karachi! I onced walked down the street in Tariq road and heard Tamil! I can’t believe people can’t even google the origins of urdu so they at least sound like they know what they are talking about! “Urdu” (Which yes is just modern Hindi/Hindustani with a bit more persian thrown in) is a fairly new language and unless your family are fairly recent converts, your Muslim ancestors spoke their mother tongue! Our languages are dieing and it’s sad.

  36. I am Arslan a Muslim Punjabi from Punjab,…………….I really feel saad that Punjabi is not thaught in our schools………….our script is ok shahmukhi is the script in which baba farid did poetry in 12th century……….and our standard accent is majhi…….as in India……….I Pray To ALLAH ALMIGHTY that
    “Aye Allah Punjabi Saade scoolan wich parhani shoro kr diti jawe te inno sarkari status hasil ho jao….te saade punjabi munde te kurian apas ch punjabi vich gallan karen lag jaan te unna nu apni boli de fikar hone lag jao te oo idey otay maan karen” AMEN

  37. hun saade punjabian nu v kuj ghairat aa gai ee…………..te LAHORE GRAMMER SCHOOL jera lhore ch kam kr rea sub taun pehla ENGLISH medium school haega jinne punjabi parhani shoro karti…………te oh loki 7 te 8th tuk punjabi parha rae ne…………te ik forum kehvo ya private movement jeri PUNJABI LOK BOLI te naa too haega innay saade pinda vich specially of Central Punjab jithay standard punjabi boli jandi e othay unna ne punjabi de kitaaban (BOOKS) privately distribute krni shoro karti………..te unna ne privately oh parhana shuru kar dite e……………..INSHALLAH DULLA BHATTI de puttar uthan ge……………dullay de puth innay beghairat nai ke apni ma nu pula deiye…………………………..saade punjab de 78 percent population pindan ch rendi aa jithay 100 percent punjabi boli jondi aa………..te 22 percent citizins ch urdu da trend kuj kuj wad rea ee…… oh v elitan vich……..fair v saade cities ch punjabi nu as their first language bolan walaia di majority haege ,,,,,,,,,,,lahore ch hale v 80 percent punjabi speakers haege…………haale v saade kol waila hega assi innu bacha sagde aan………………….te aapa innu bachawan ge……………………………………ADHI ROOTI KHAWAN GE PUNJABI NU BACHAWAN GE

  38. i’ve added this article to my favourites as it speaks exactly what was on my mind; it’s true that the Pakistani Punjabis need to get up and do something to preserve their culture and language

    Urdu is, by all means, a beautiful language but it doesn’t mean that you kill off Punjabi as well.

    i think they should also teach Gurmukhi script in Pakistan along with the Shahmukhi script so that we have wider access to the literary texts from across the border. I admire the way Indian Punjabis have fought to protect their culture, but it’s a shame to see this beautiful language getting wasted in Pakistan. They should speak both Urdu and Punjabi with kids so they have an understanding of the two. If they don’t then the language might be forgotten in future.

    meri punjabi inni vi changi nahi koshish te karna wan, par je koi mere naal bachpan ton bolda fir hor gal honi si. hun te saanun aa vi nahin pata ke assin sahi taran punjabi kiven likhiye, bas roman punjabi te guzara karne aan.

    there should also be information about the diffierent dialects as well; so far i’ve just come across the names but no real information has been presented as to what the differences are.

    i pray that they make Punjabi an official language in the West Punjab and they teach it in schools as well, just like they do in East Punjab.

    • Since most of us can read Urdu it would be fairy easy to read Shahmukhi, but it would be great if they could teach Gurumukhi on our side and Shahmukhi in India, so they could read Punjabi poetry in it’s original form and we could read great Indian Punjabi literature.

  39. AoA,

    I see there are still Sikh Punjabi nationalists and other Indian agents masquerading on this blog and trying to cause strife between Pakistanis. As a Muslim I can tell you that you agents are living in a dreamworld Urdu is far more superior to Punjabi. Urdu uses the Arabic script (a different style like Farsi) and its vocabulary has much Arabic, Farsi, and Turkish unlike Punjabi. The Urdu alphabet is very similar to Arabic. Therefore, it makes sense to use the Arabic script. On the other hand, the Punjabi language and its pronunciation is nowhere related to Middle Eastern languages. Many of the sounds in Punjabi do not even have an equivalent in Arabic letters. On top of this, almost all Punjabis in Pakistan speak and understand Urdu. Urdu and now increasing English are the languages of the intelligent and educated in Pakistan. And inshallah it will stay that way. Allah Hafiz

    • @Arshad:

      Assalam-o-alaikum. You are completely in error my friend. Although the Urdu script is based on Arabic (and Arabic and Farsi spellings are preserved for those loanwords), the Urdu sound system is completely based on Sanskrit (except for khe, ghain, ze) which are also present in Hindi (as you will see in Hindi music singers pronounce these correctly). Please show me one example of an Urdu speaker that pronounces ‘ze’, ‘zhe’, and ‘zu’ad’ differently (such as an Arab would). You will not because the Urdu sound system is based on Sanskrit.

      I’m sorry if its hard for you to swallow this fact, but its the absolute truth. Please study the history of Urdu before you make such ignorant, illiterate comments.

      By the way all the languages of the world are beautiful, because humans are beautiful.

    • To all respect to the owner of his wonderful blog, why would Indian agents focus on a an internet blog? India’s intelligence agency must be in a poor state if this is what they are reduced too!

      An Indian Hindi speaking Hindu would understand the language you speak far better than a Iranian, Arab or Turk. Urdu is about 80% (or more) percent Hindi and 20% Farsi, Turkish, Arabic, in fact they could probably understand more of what our pashto speaking brothers speak than what our urdu speaking brothers speak.

      The urdu script is far more smilar to Persian, and Punjabi has lots of persian words in it. I also don’t understand your claims that Urdu is better, Punjabi is non-Islamic, yet you’re now claiming that English is far better (which doesn’t use Arabic script and is no way related to Urdu).

      InshAllah you will read your own posts again brother!

      Aur Urdu is a beautiful language, but please educate yourself!

  40. hi,
    every one; I would like to say that being Pakistani we should speak urdu and get all education in urdu because urdu is our national language. If we want to acheive success than we must leave the western languages and use our national language.

    • Brother, with all due respect. No one is saying you should only speak Punjabi or forcing it upon anyone. We are just saying we should keep and promote our mother tongue.

      And if you want to achieve sucess, I assure English will get you further in life! I’ve heard they’re starting Mandarin classes in Sindh, which would also help!

  41. Hi! main ik punjabi haan haalaki bathhere loki mainu Indian punjabi janangee taan main phir dohrana hain ki main ik “punjabi” hain. Assin punjabi gumrah kitte gaye saalan tak. Sadde Punjab nu vandiya gaya. Saatton saddi matra pashaa chinnan di koshish kiti gayi te ho bhi rahi hai.
    Eh haal sirf pakistani punjab da hi nahi hai India vich bi ehi haal hai poorbi punjab nu tinn tukdeyan vich vandeya gaya “Punjab”, “Haryana” and “Himachal Pradesh” jeda ki bahut hi chaturayi naal hindi pradeshan waleyan ne kitta. Phir koshish eh kiti gayi ki jinne bhi punjabi hindu hege unna nu gumrah kita jawe ki una di pasha hindi hai na ki punjabi eh sannu PUNJAB te HARYANA de batware de vele dekhan nu milya. Os vele kai hinduaan ne jede ki punjabi hi bolde si una ne bhi apni matrapasha HINDI declare kiti si. Haal eh hoya ki ajj punjab ik nikaa jeha rajya ban ke reh gaya hai. CHANDIGARH da ajj tak nahi pata lagya ki oh kisda hai PUNJAB de jaa HARYANA da. Eh sab UP waleyan di kar ishtaniyan sigiyan kyunki oh jaande si ki je punjabi ik ho gaye te oh desh vich rule karange. Oh punjabiyan de fauladi khoon to vakhif sige islayi unane (i dont want to name the political leaders) sannu dharam de naa te vandiya te kamyaab bhi ho gaye ik sikh state “PUNJAB” te hindu state “HARYANA” banan vich. Hindu sikhan de naal laddan de vele eh pul gaye ki punjab vich har parivar de bade bete nu sikh banan da rivaz si. Yaane ki har sikh hindu hi si yaa phir hinduaan vichon hi nikalya si.

    Ajj halanki punjabi apne “boom” te hai kyunki ik v bollywood di film nahi hundi jede vich punjabi touch na hove. Punjabiyat phir ti jagg rahi hai har punjabi de vich. Even the non Punjabis have shown their interest in learning the language. Main ik hindu punjabi hai par main apne har sikh friend da saath dinda haan.
    Meri saare punjabiyan nu eh benti hai ki punjabi bolo te tarakki karo. I believe in United Punjab (Greater Punjab). I hope some day the Greater Punjab will be realized even if in India only.

    Duniya vich vas rahe saare punjabiyan nu main ehi kehna chawanga ki tamil, telugu , malyali, sindhiyan te ik gal sikho ki oh apni maa boli de prati kinne serious ne. Sannu hi punjabi nu bachana paooga koi pir paigumbar nahi aan ge.

    After all, Assin haan Punjabi .
    Satsriakal , Adaab and Namaskar. Tussi vasde raho punjabiyo meri rab kol ehi dua hai.

  42. Adaab.

    I saw this post and found it very interesting.

    My parents are from West Punjab (Pakistan) and I speak punjabi because we always have spoken punjabi.

    First of all I agree with Asim. West punjabis (Pakistan) and our friends in Easy Punjab (India) have the language in commen. West punjabis are mostly muslims and we have a lot more in commen with other non-punjabi speaking muslim.

    But I want to send a big big SALUT to our sikh and some hindu friends in east punjab. They have done a great work and struggle to preserve and promoting punjabi language.

    I was in Lahore and most youngsters could’nt speak punjabi, they perfer speaking english or some times urdu when you force them.

    In 100 years (2110) punjabi language in Pakistan will be like latin language is in Europe.

    It is very sad for all lovers of punjabi language because punjabi language has its roots in villages in Pakistan. Here you will find people speaking the sweetest punjabi.

    The only way to preseve punjabi language in Pakistan is to make it obligatory in school along with urdu. But at the moment we have O punjabi learning programs / books for kids. Actaully I dont even think you can learn punjabi in pakistani schools today?

    I dont hope that 100 years from now pakistanis will say:

    Peace to all punjabi friends on both sides and in the rest of the world.

    Take care

  43. You have to laugh at these Sikhs like Rana attempting to cause trouble in Pakistan. Sort your own problems out first before trying to turn Pakistanis against one another, amongst the educated classes in Punjab only English and Urdu count as serious languages. We also need Arabic for religious purposes. If you sikhs want to keep the so-called Punjabi culture alive do it in India and keep out of Pakistan’s affairs.

    Allah Hafiz and peace to all Muslims in Pakistan and India and across the world.

  44. To the person above me…. do you actually have to think hard to write trash??? or does it come naturally… ??? anyway I’m not gonna bother with ppl like you I’m probably not good enough for high standards anyway…. I can’t believe some people look down on a language are you feeling alright?!!! And you consider punjabi a joke right??? You consider it to be a ‘sikh’ language… I’ll have you know one of the first pieces of punjabi literature was written by a Muslim Holy Saint… language has nothing to do with religion … talk about being narrow minded

    • Ignore them! They seem to have no clue about what they are talking about!

      A lot of these Muslim Holy saints were writing far long before Urdu existed!

      oof, I have a sore head now!

  45. Punjabi is an ancient dialact and language, it was spoken by the people in greater punjab. The area flourished speaking that language. Over the years english, urdu and hindi has been favoured over punjabi and with these changes, has there been positive changes, the punjabi people have becoome divided. Why would a language deter you from becomming a good muslim, goodness and having a compasionate heart has nothing to do with a religion or language. A religion seem to give you an idea of what is right or wrong but at the same time divides mankind and the language is no factor to who you are but your individual nature and the influences of division is the factor.

  46. I m a non-Punjabi Hindu living in Delhi. My mother tongue is Haryanvi as my parents are from Haryana. I love Punjabi language and i m learning this sweet language. The problem with Pakistan is the radical Islamic ideology. The same way , they suppressed Bengali language.

  47. Hoshiar Singh gill

    I am British born but spent many years in Indian panjab and Uttar Pardesh hence got a chance to learn Panjabi,Hindi and later Urdu.In India Panjabi
    is officially recognized but still Media , Education and administration is dominated by Hindi and English and will remain so.In Indian Panjab all major
    Panjabi writers are taught.Sufi poets and modern Pakistani writers are on the curriculum.The first poem I memorised was “dil atkaya beparwah de naal” by Shah Hussain Sahib.Some brothers above have written about Sikhs and Hindus in a frightening hateful manner, forgetting what Dr. Iqbal wrote”mazhab nahin sikhata aapas main vair rakhna”.We are all created by the same Almighty God Akaal purakh, some call him Allah others Ram.The first word in Sikh Divine scriptures is “ik Oankar” one God.Religions have many things in common though mostly we all get caught up in rituals forgetting”Bulle Shah rabb ohna nu milda nittan jihnan dian sachhian.I love Panjabi together with all other languages I don’t see why you should hate someone just because he belongs to a different faith.He /she may be thousand times better than me in eyes of Lord Almighty.Panjabis should learn as many languages as possible but I don’t see why they should give up their ow mother tounge.Sadly many Panjabis do because of many reasons which is quite a lengthy topic I will leave you a poem by late sohan Singh Meesha which interprets my feelings:
    jo samjhe mehram dil de sann,hun jaddon kadde vi milde hann
    talvaar naal sangeen naal …..,ja.n kalam di noak maheen naal
    dharti de pinde gorei te………..,ja.n chitte kaghaz korre te
    khichde ne leek bareek jahi…..,merre dil cho.n nikkle cheeq jahi
    duss bhet appne khasse da , too.n leeko.n kehrey paase da
    eh puchhan te na kujh vi kavvan,sochee.n pai jawan chup karjaa.n
    khudgarz kehan gaddaar kehan.buzdil samjhauta kaar kehan
    eh ki ki merre yaar kehan???????????????????????????????
    mai.n sabb muska kai seh jannan,te kehnda kehnda reh jannan
    eh leek te sah de rang di ai ………, merre fiffriaa.n chon langhdi ae
    Sat Siri Akaal,Aslama alaiqum and Namaskar to all Veer jis and bhain jis.

    Adaab to brother for writing the beautiful article!

  48. Hoshiar Singh gill

    I am British born but spent many years in Indian panjab and Uttar PardesLeave a Reply h hence got a chance to learn Panjabi,Hindi and later Urdu.In India Panjabi
    is officially recognized but still Media , Education and administration is dominated by Hindi and English and will remain so.In Indian Panjab all major
    Panjabi writers are taught.Sufi poets and modern Pakistani writers are on the curriculum.The first poem I memorised was “dil atkaya beparwah de naal” by Shah Hussain Sahib.Some brothers above have written about Sikhs and Hindus in a frightening hateful manner, forgetting what Dr. Iqbal wrote”mazhab nahin sikhata aapas main vair rakhna”.We are all created by the same Almighty God Akaal purakh, some call him Allah others Ram.The first word in Sikh Divine scriptures is “ik Oankar” one God.Religions have many things in common though mostly we all get caught up in rituals forgetting”Bulle Shah rabb ohna nu milda nittan jihnan dian sachhian.I love Panjabi together with all other languages I don’t see why you should hate someone just because he belongs to a different faith.He /she may be thousand times better than me in eyes of Lord Almighty.Panjabis should learn as many languages as possible but I don’t see why they should give up their ow mother tounge.Sadly many Panjabis do because of many reasons which is quite a lengthy topic I will leave you a poem by late sohan Singh Meesha which interprets my feelings:
    jo samjhe mehram dil de sann,hun jaddon kadde vi milde hann
    talvaar naal sangeen naal …..,ja.n kalam di noak maheen naal
    dharti de pinde gorei te………..,ja.n chitte kaghaz korre te
    khichde ne leek bareek jahi…..,merre dil cho.n nikkle cheeq jahi
    duss bhet appne khasse da , too.n leeko.n kehrey paase da
    eh puchhan te na kujh vi kavvan,sochee.n pai jawan chup karjaa.n
    khudgarz kehan gaddaar kehan.buzdil samjhauta kaar kehan
    eh ki ki merre yaar kehan???????????????????????????????
    mai.n sabb muska kai seh jannan,te kehnda kehnda reh jannan
    eh leek te sah de rang di ai ………, merre fiffriaa.n chon langhdi ae
    Sat Siri Akaal,Aslama alaiqum and Namaskar to all Veer jis and bhain jis.

    Adaab to brother for writing the beautiful article!

  49. I am a Canadian born and raised Punjabi. My background is from Punjab (India), and my language is Punjabi. It was with great pain to know what is going on in Pakistan to our shared heritage and I’m glad through your poignantly written piece that you have gained a sense of identity. Even for me it took a while, as I’m still learning our language Punjabi!

    I wish for the sake of our shared identity, our shared roots, and our culture that Punjabi be made at least a state language in Pakistan! In Canada 20% of the population speaks French and we are a bilingual nation, why can’t this be the case for Pakistan?

    You are absolutely correct that this attitude of Punjabi language being inferior is a language ideology that carried over from colonial times. I believe in particular that modernity in Pakistan indexes Punjabi as uncivilized, inferior, and old while Urdu is seen as modern, superior, and civilized. However, neither is true! They are just languages that are equally viable and each equally rich in its history as well as culture.

    ***The reason for its current demise is the COMPLIANCE of people to this cultural ideology of Urdu and maybe even this feeling for helplessness, or the unwillingness (for one reason or another) to challenge the existing language laws/ideas. Everyone, even the ones outside Pakistan, including in India Punjab, are compliant in its demise. But its not too late.

    ***This is only an ideal: we must all come together to create change! People can create change as we observed through the Arab Spring, but you must fight for it! Challenge the existing structure and change what it means to be a Punjabi in Pakistan, and maybe even change what it means to be Pakistani.

  50. Arshad, you are either ignorant or a liar. Either way you are talking complete rubbish. You represent a false ideology that only causes hatred and division. At any rate, even after 60 years of Pakistan, Urdu is only spoken as a native language by 8-10%. Yes it’s spoken by North Indian Muslims but there are millions of Muslims in the South of India who neither speak Urdu nor care to speak it. Not to mention the Bengali speaking Muslims in India and Bangladesh. Speaking Urdu doesn’t make anyone a better Muslim, and Pakistanis who disagree with you are not Indian agents. Grow up and take your trolling elsewhere. – A Pakistani Muslim

  51. Again you have to laugh at these Indian agents and trolls like the one above trying to cause problems in Pakistan on the basis of language but failing miserably. The Sikhs can keep Punjabi culture alive, fine go and live in India but don’t bother us with your nonsense. No Pakistanis or Muslims in general would disagree with my arguments against the kuffar or munafiqs. I represent Islam and the unity of Pakistan, Urdu is our national language, other important languages are Arabic, English and now Chinese. Live with it.

    • Please listen to yourself! What is an Indian agent? A lot of my family members are Urdu speaking Muhajirs and even they will tell you Urdu is an Indian language! If anyone is a agent it would be you, Punjabi is a Pakistani language and will always remain a Pakistani language, how are people on one internet blog trying to start a riot in Pakistan? is the MQM, PPP etc reading this blog? I don’t understand!

      Why are you bring Muslims into this? why would a Nigerian or a British Muslim care what language Pakistanis speak? The only unifying language of Muslims would be Arabic, there is no basis for an argument that Urdu is the language of Muslims, where is this coming from? Astaghfirullah brother, please stop using my religion to back your political agenda, Most of the people that have given their lives for Pakistan have been Punjabi speaking people, my own cousin serves in army and is fighting for you right now, when he phones home he speaks in Punjabi, he is not an Indian agent he is a proud Pakistani.

      I’m finding your arguments so upsetting, now that you use words like Kaffir etc. 😦

  52. Such a great post! I love Punjabi and always will.

    I feel there is a Punjabi revival in Pakistan and it’s about time. I find it strange that even though we form a majority of the country the language is not promoted more! InshAllah one day it will be taught in all schools in Punjab and everyone will study our glorious Punjabi literature!

    • don’t know if that notion of a revival is correct–albeit being necessary. my aunt currently remains in Pakistan, and while i communicate with her exclusively in Punjabi, she can neither read not write it. furthermore, none of my cousins/relatives of my generation speak/write Punjabi. the only reason i can communicate in it is because i learned it on my own in CANADA!!–a country where it is neither a majority language, nor recognized in any official capacity.

      unfortunately, the gov’t in that country decries dissent, especially anything ostensibly un-islamic or un/anti-urdu. the patronizing of punjabi would be all those things.

      if you really care to give Punjabi it’s due respect, try to keep in mind that it is an official and protected language in India–not just stately in Punjab, but federally in India’s constitution! what a concept; recognizing and protecting a MINORITY language. if you can somehow get Pakistan to follow suit, which certainly is no easy feat, then perhaps you can save punjabi there also.

  53. Pingback: Anonymous

  54. jionda rahe baai jihne cheez eh bnai ………..!!!
    ਜਿਉਂਦਾ ਰਹੇ ਬਾਈ ਜਿਹਨੇ ਚੀਜ਼ ਇਹ ਬਣਾਈ ………..!!!
    جیوندا رہے بائی جہنے چیز ایہہ بنائی

    Punjabi is great and my mother……and mother is always great…… doubt …..

  55. ਮੰਨਿਆ ਤੂੰ ਸਿਰੇ ਦੀ ਚਲਾਕ ਏ ਕੁੜੀਏ, ਪਰ Tera Yarr ਵੀ ਪੂਰੀ ਕੁੱਤੀ ਚੀਜ ਆ.

    More on:–

  56. A few months ago, parliamentarians from Sindh forwarded a bill calling for giving the satus of national language to Punjabi, Sindhi, Pushto and Balochi, to a parliamentary committee. Amazingly, the members from Punjab, alongwith Urdu members, came out to be the most vocal opponents of the bill. So, the bill was rejected and couldn’t even be prensented in the parliament for voting

  57. I don’t know why every conversation from South Asia turns into a religious debate. I like the original post and have the same feelings of my mother language being called as inferior to any other language. I hope to learn Gurmukhi in order to read some of nice literature written from Eastern Punjab. Whenever I go to library, In Canada, I only find Punjabi books in Gurmukhi and feel like illiterate.

    • brother In pakistani punjab u just have to speak and write urdu..that is the main reason of downfall of punjabi in ur side.writing,reading and speaking punjabi is in compulsory on our side..u know brother Indian punjabi music is very popular and why nt pakistani?..the main reason is u could nt write punjabi song in urdu language..cheers

  58. For supporters of Punjabi language rights in Pakistan, consider signing this petition:

  59. im a proudly Indian punjabi speaker and i love my punjab soo much .i shall respect master tara singh and all those akalis who sacrifice for punjabi suba movement.pakistan punjab must give punjabi a national language.Indian punjab is a true punjabi speakers and punjabi is compulsory subject up to 12th grade and even more up to PhD In In India people love punjabi music,punjabi food and our history is very great.Bollywood is changing very fast in punjabi u can see mostly songs r in pure punjabi now…we sikhs respect baba bhulle shah ,waris shah and all muslim poets .the main difference between us is that pakistani punjabi considers themselves arabic and never wanna respect dulla bhatti and non muslims like bhagat singh and maharaja ranjit singh….thank u very much for this post punjabi in pakistan ..peace

  60. hi just came across this blog and interesting to read that still there are few people thinking to save maanboli. i have started writing in maanboli in blogs and manage to complie some lessons to learn punjabi through english. link for this is
    and also followed in twitter @ostrich4

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  62. you’re spot on with your observations. and, throughout the years, as you have seen, you are not alone in how you feel about the declination of Punjabi.

    i’m another one of the clique; my parents speak Punjabi with one another and their Punjabi peers, but with me, they default to Urdu.

    to be fair, my first language was Punjabi, but because of outside pressure from “friends” they swapped over to Urdu, because they were told that having kids speak Punjabi was silly or something along those lines (didn’t sound right, or whatever.)

    i commend you on reaching out on your own to learn your true mother tongue. you’ve probably done this much earlier than me. i only recently started trying to speak Punjabi. the irony is that I understand it better than Urdu, but speaking it is extremely difficult.

    anyways, it was refreshing to read similar thoughts.

    also, for those who feel that gorras have more credibility than desis when speaking about the merits of Punjabi, and why one should not be ashamed of it, here you go

  63. Anshuman Sharma

    I’m an Indian Punjabi and same’s the case with us. Same inferiority complex reason. The Punjabi upper middle class here makes their children speak Hindi. Bengalis speak Bengali, Tamil speak Tamil, Marathis speak Marathi, we speak Hindi.
    What’s odd is that the rest of India views our language and culture highly but we Punjabis ourselves don’t.

    • Anshuman Sharma

      Things are changing now, of course, that too at a rapid pace. And the problem isn’t as severe as in Pakistan.

  64. I think it’s reasonable for Punjabi language to be taught at primary or elementary level in Punjab (PK). This would allow children to integrate their mother tongue into education at an early stage, which studies have shown is essential to development of literacy and word-formation at an early age. The prejudices against Punjabi language are merely that, since any language can be developed with new vocabulary, contexts and usage. The problem I believe not due to any deficiency in the Punjabi language but lack of confidence that some speakers of Punjabi seem to exhibit. Due to lack of education, official status and usage in public realm, Punjabi in Pakistan is relegated to the home and close social circles. This seems to have limited the language in modern development and therefore it remains largely fixated in the realms of Qissas. While those stories are important part of Punjabi literature, yet the language also needs to develop other means of expression. One of the strengths of Punjabi, both in India and Pakistan, is the rich oral traditional expressed in song, music and drama. This has allowed the language to survive and in some cases thrive. In India thanks to Bollywood, Punjabi has also been “cool.”

    Primary education in Punjabi is essential to restore Punjabi pride in their mother tongue and most importantly to overcome socio-economic inequalities among Punjabis. In the end, I believe this is a social and educational issue, which forward-thinking individuals need to consider as it is at the heart of democratic renewal, so as to provide a voice for all citizens to be heard. For if people are alienated from their mother tongue, in essence they are alienated from an essential part of themselves.

  65. Gurveer Singh

    I (Sikh Munda) am going to solely blame Punjabi Sikh kurian for trying their best to kill the punjabi language in India. These Sikh Kurian that “learn” extremely poor english in india in turn start hating on punjabi, and try their best to convert munde to “urdu/hindi” & english. They hate the fact if anyone speaks in “tu,tenu,teri” because their heads get full of bullshit after going to english schools, which in turn just kills the punjabi language. In India, there’s too much bullshit that more than a billion people believe, such as caste system, dowry, female fetal abortions, language politics like this, religious politics, people killing each other over property, marriage politics, drugs, gender discrimination, arranged marriages, property politics, and the list goes on and on. If more than a billion people believe all this bullshit, than there’s not much i can do to save the punjabi language as an individual. These are reasons that India will never be able to compete with the USA economically, because american society is not run by all this bullshit. If a language is discriminated against by its own kurian, than the language is just going to slowly die, because these same kurian are going to marry munde one day and covert their husbands and kids away from the punjabi language, because of their personal hatred for the structure of a language. The Punjabi language can only be saved by kurian who don’t learn urdu/hindi & english (like back in the day). If the sikhs are loosing the battle for the punjabi language, than there’s not much that can be done. gal mukee bus tu, tenu, teri di vich……changa sare mittaran nu

  66. punjabgreatest

    Im from canada and up here every one looks down on urdu and hindi….if u speak punjabi u are considered cool where as when u speak urdu u are considered a ref or weak…..i seen many pakis who didnt know a word of punjabi but they learned it and started speaking punjabi instead of urdu….because here if u canada speak punjabi and english u can get more jobs whereas urdu wont get u anywhere….pakis have inferioty complex which means they think they are the lowest of the lowest which they are no doubt they are the scum of this planet i agree so they think urdu is high class language which it will never be. punjabi is the real language where as urdu is copied from hindi LOL

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