On Thursday November 18th, 2021, Dhahan Prize Youth Awards were presented to eight grade 11 and 12 students for their short stories written in Punjabi and English as part of the Punjabi Literature Week celebration in British Columbia.
Lofty Heights, the anthology of these eight winning stories, was also released. The anthology cover was designed by Saroop Soofi with orange as the main colour to help us remember and honour Indigenous children who suffered and died in Canada’s residential schools. The stories are presented in both Punjabi scripts and Canada’s two official languages.
These stories build bridges and strengthen bonds of friendship among diverse students and communities in British Columbia.
Annie Ohana, LA Matheson Secondary, Indigenous Department Head and Mustang Justice Program Founder/Director eloquently said,
“Truth and Justice behooves us to help re-establish, re-invigorate, and strengthen the importance of our mother tongues to all of us who live on these lands. The beauty of an oral story, written prose, a moving lyric, truly breathes life and secures a future for cultures the world over.”
Dhahan Prize is grateful to the students for their creative talent, and to the teachers and parents for their encouragement to the students. We are equally grateful to our generous sponsor Coast Capital Savings and our partner LA Matheson Secondary (Surrey School District).
‘Do Good, Have Good’ by Namandeep Kaur, Khalsa Secondary School, Surrey
‘Moon’ by Puneet Kaur Khakh, Dasmesh Punjabi School, Abbotsford
‘Realization’ by Jujhar Singh Chahal, L.A. Matheson Secondary School, Surrey
‘Remorse’ by Daljeet Singh Dillon, L.A. Matheson Secondary School, Surrey
‘The Delicate Threads of Relationships’ by Gursimar Kaur Mahal, Dasmesh Punjabi School, Abbotsford
‘The Value of Hard Work’ by Gurleen Kaur Brar, Dasmesh Punjabi School, Abbotsford
‘Distressed Soul’ by Mantoj Kaur Grewal, Princess Margaret Secondary School, Surrey
‘Together’ by Prabhleen Kaur Buttar, Dasmesh Punjabi School, Abbotsford