MALAYSIA: Some 1,000 participants from 42 teams nationwide will take part at the regional and national levels of a Malaysian-based Punjabi language carnival.
The 24th Annual National Punjabi Bhasha Mela 2015 is jointly organised by Sikh Naujawan Sabha Malaysia (SNSM) and Khalsa Diwan Malaysia (KDM).
The carnival holds various events meant to promote the Punjabi language They include story telling (sakhi). elocution (bhasan), poetry recital (kavita), Gurbani reading (such paath), debate (behas) and impromptu speeches (tatkali peshkari).
For the first time, at the national level, participants will also show their skills in coral speaking where groups narrate a poem or a dramatic piece.
With 13 teams, Perak Zone is the biggest in terms of teams. They are followed by Selangor (11), Southern Zone (11) and the Northern Zone (7).
For individual events, the top three winners of each event will represent their respective regions at the national competition. For team events, it will bethe top two.
These teams come from the respective Punjabi Education Centres (PECs), individual gurdwaras or local Punjabi tuition centres. PECs are the weekend Punjabi schools, usually held at local gurdwaras, organised by the KDM with the support of local gurdwaras and organisations.
Teams from the states of Sabah and Sarawak in East Malaysia have been invited to join direct at the national level for the first time. Distances between the cities in the two states make it challenging to hold regional level competitions.
“Kuching and Kota Kinabalu may take up the offer this time. But let’s see if they can sort out their logistics and costing,” said Autar Singh from the organising team.
The Regional Melas will be held on 28 March at Wadda Gurdwara Sahib Penang, Guru Nank Institutuin (GNI) Ipoh, GS Klang and GS Seremban.
The National Mela will be held on 6-7 June at Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU), formerly known as APIIT, at Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur.
Closing date for entries to the regional melas is 11 March 2015. – ASIA SAMACHAR (2 March 2015)
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