Dhahan Prize 2021 winners for best Punjabi fiction

THE Dhahan Prize 2021 winners for excellence in Punjabi literature were announced on Thursday. The Dhahan Prize promotes Punjabi literature on a global scale by awarding $25,000 annually to the best book of fiction published in either Gurmukhi or Shahmukhi scripts, along with two finalist prizes of $10,000 each.

2021 Winners and Finalists of the Dhahan Prize in Punjabi Literature are:

* Winner ($25,000): Shahmukhi Script

Jogi, Sap, Trah (‘Snake Charmer’s Fear’), Short stories by Nain Sukh (Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan)

* Finalist ($10,000): Gurmukhi Script

Apne Apne Marseia (‘Journeys’), Short stories by Sarghi (Amritsar, Punjab, India)

* Finalist ($10,000): Gurmukhi script

Mitti Bol Peye (‘The Earth Speaks’), Novel by Balbir Madhopuri (New Delhi, India)

“These winning books explore globally relevant issues of inequality, discrimination, patriarchy and the struggle of the oppressed for freedom and equal rights. They are hopeful narratives of people finding their own unique voices as they journey on in fast changing relationships” said Barj S. Dhahan.

The winner of the eighth annual award is the expansive collection of short stories written in the Shahmukhi script by the renowned author Nain Sukh. The central jury cites, “This is a unique book on the ‘real’ or ‘original’ inhabitants of Punjab. A literary milestone in Punjabi…A brilliant and non-religious celebration of Punjabi heritage and rich cultural traditions.”

The Dhahan Prize aims to inspire the creation of Punjabi literature across borders, bridging Punjabi communities around the world, and promoting Punjabi literature on a global scale. The awards garner critical acclaim and significant exposure for aspiring and established writers.

The Dhahan Prize was established in Vancouver, B.C., where Punjabi people, language, and culture have flourished for over a century. Punjabi is now the third-most spoken language in Canada and is a strong thread in the multicultural fabric of the nation. The prize is funded by Barj and Rita Dhahan, and family and friends.