Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh
Wow! School is almost here, although it seems that the summer weather is going to last a little bit longer.
Punjabi classes are also coming up, whether informal or formal ones at school. I thought for this blog I will give you a couple of reasons on why we should learn Punjabi.
1. Learning the language of a culture will help you experience the culture more effectively.
-learning Punjabi will help us experience our rich culture and heritage more fully. If you don't know what a charkha or manja is, then how can you get a full understanding of the culture in Punjab, the place where most of our parents grew up.
2. Learning two or more languages can help you express yourself better
-Anyone who has learned another language can agree that there are certain words and phrases that can't be translated into English, but it seems like we can't fully express ourselves without them. There has been multiple times when my sister and I communicate in half Punjabi/half English, just to get our feelings across better. For example, there doesn't seem to be an equivalent word for the word "nazar" in Punjabi. The same goes for the word "taran", the kind of knot/sensation one gets in the upper stomach. English doctors don't even know that "taran" exists!
3. Learning Punjabi can help us understand Gurbani
-There is "superficial" Punjabi, as I like to call it, which is more conversational, and then there is "deep" Punjabi. To be able to communicate in "deep" Punjabi, one has to have a greater vocabulary and be able to properly use the words. Deep Punjabi enables us to not only carry out meaningful conversations with others in relation to religion, politics, literature etc. but it also helps us to understand the vast amounts of ancient literature available. For example, an adequate knowledge of Punjabi can help us understand Sri Guru Granth Sahib, even though Punjabi isn't the only language in the Guru. So far I haven't found an adequate English translation, because I feel that some of the phrases are "lost in translation" and lose there meaning. That is not to say that people shouldn't read English translations, but if you have a chance to learn Punjabi, then take the opportunity! It will make your studies of gurbani easier. I am not going to lie, without Gurbani, we wouldn't be Sikhs, so it is important not only read and understand, but also to apply Gurbani teachings to your everyday life (but that it going to be another blog post).
4. It would be easier to communicate with grandparents or relatives that don't know English.
- Did you know that our grandparents have a first hand experience of the rich history of India. They were lived through the British Rule, Independence, the Partition and many more events. If you know Punjabi you can get a first hand account of all those experiences.
5. Learning a new language is fun!
So that's it. The main five reasons you should learn Punjabi. If anyone has more, please tell us in the comments:)