Editor, the Gauntlet,
As a Punjabi, it was uplifting to hear the Bhangra music blaring from MacEwan Student Centre during "Sikhism and Punjabi Awareness Week." While this week was dedicated to promoting awareness of Sikhism and the Punjabi culture, a few key details were unfortunately overlooked. Being a Pakistani Punjabi, I was disappointed to see the misrepresentation of Punjab.
Firstly, the pamphlet entitled "Sikhism: A Philosophy and Way of Life," was inaccurate, reflecting ignorance on the part of the Sikh Students Association who organized the week-long event.
In describing Punjab, it only focused on Indian Punjab and disregarded any existence of a Pakistani Punjab.
To set the record straight, the current day Punjab is divided into two separate regions: East Punjab (situated in India) currently occupies 20 per cent of the total Punjab area and West Punjab (in Pakistan) which currently occupies 80 per cent of the total Punjab area.
Approximately 80.44 million people reside in West Punjab, and 24.76 million reside in East Punjab. It can be seen statistically that Pakistani Punjab not only exists, but in fact makes up half of Punjabi people.
But Punjab was not only falsified on a statistical basis. It is known that two scripts of the Punjabi language exist: Shahmukhi, which is written in Pakistani Punjab, and Gurmukhi, written in Indian Punjab. The dialects of the Punjabi language are themselves variant, as they tend to be mixed with Urdu in the West and Hindi in the East. Linguistic variances will of course exist when speaking of two different countries, but in essence, the Punjabi culture is similar in both places.
Is it fair then that a week dedicated to the promotion and awareness of Punjabi culture not accurately depict the facts? A future event should be amended to include and represent every aspect of Punjab, for in this day and age, ignorance is not exusable nor acceptable.
Shaheen Chaudhary and Mumtaz Macci