Tarannum Thind has been the beloved master of ceremonies for the Dhahan Prize awards since 2014.
Originally from Chandigarh in Punjab, Tarannum built a career for herself in Canada as a media personality. South Asians may recognize her from ethnic TV shows like Fusion Fare, Chai Time, the Arts & Culture segment on OMNI, BC Round Up on Zee TV, Times of India Film Awards, Connect FM’s afternoon talk show and more.
When she first learned about the Dhahan Prize, she knew it would be a perfect fit.
“The Dhahan family’s vision to preserve and honour Punjabi language and literature, to encourage the youth to connect with their roots and to bridge the gap between the two Punjabs is extraordinary. Their passion and commitment to take Punjabi literature to the global stage is truly inspiring, and that’s exactly what intrigued me about the Dhahan Prize,” she says.
Since her first appearance at the Dhahan Prize award ceremonies in 2014, Tarannum became an expected feature for its annual audience. She keeps literary audiences alive with her melodious voice, quirky comments and eloquent transitions between segments.
Being bilingual, Tarannum switches between Punjabi and English throughout the night, without giving it a second thought. And, when non-Punjabis need a hand-up to understand a joke, she’s sure to explain it in her fluent, down-to-earth English.
“Tarannum does an excellent job bridging the gap between cultures, which is exactly our goal with the Dhahan Prize. We want our local audience, as well as our global Punjabi community, to enjoy the ceremonies. She melds those two worlds together very well,” explains Barj Dhahan, founder of the Prize. “She also keeps things fun while being a true professional at hosting.”
Tarannum’s affection for the Dhahan Prize has never grown stale.
“It’s a celebration I look forward to hosting every year. Every year’s event leaves me feeling awe-inspired,” she says. “The Dhahan Prize has given a ray of hope to authors and readers of Punjabi Literature. I look forward to seeing the Dhahan Prize reach new heights in the near future and being recognized as one of the most prestigious awards globally.”
Having grown up in a family of academics and theatre performers , she also connects with the authors and artists in the crowds she speaks to.
“One of my favourite things is meeting and interacting with esteemed authors from around the world and watching the enthusiasm of up-and-coming writers,” she says.
Today, Tarannum is a soccer mom and works for B.C.’s Government Communications and Public Engagement as a Communications Specialist for Punjabi Language.
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