By Asia Samachar Team | MALAYSIA |
The Punjabi classes at Kajang, a Selangor city just on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, has grown from two students in 2002 to some 80 students today.
It takes much effort and working together to keep the weekend classes running over the last 17 years.
On Saturday (23 Feb 2019), the students, teachers and parents came together for a wonderfully-organised fund raising dinner at a hotel in Putrajaya.
The kids went on the stage to share Punjabi poetry and sang Punjabi songs, accompanied by Punjabi dances. It was an evening of fun and laughter, with the Punjabi culture and language permeating all around.
The sold-out event was one of the ways that the Punjabi Education Centre (PEC) Kajang raises funds for the classes that are held under the umbrella of the Gurdwara Sahib Kajang (GSK).
They even got the guest of honour, Director-General of Malaysia’s National Unity and Integration Department (Prime Minister’s Department) Baharin Idris, to pick up some Bhangra moves.
Baharin said he was delighted to know that the event exposed Sikh children to Punjabi culture and tradition, especially to enhance Punjabi language as a collective identity.
“It is still easy to create culture but what is difficult is to preserve it. It has taken ages for our forefathers to form such a composite and ethnically rich culture. What is important for us is to preserve our own culture,” he told the audience.
Baharin said that he would assist the centre to obtain funding to part-ease their funding burden.
“The PEC is run and funded by volunteers. We need assistance from the government,” GSK management committee president Ranjit Singh said in his speech earlier.
PEC Kajang is led by Harjinder Singh while Gurnam Kaur is the centre principal.
The PECs nationwide are supported by the Punjabi Education Trust Malaysia (PETM), the education wing of Khalsa Diwan Malaysia (KDM).
One single centre now for Singapore Punjabi school (Asia Samachar, 12 Feb 2019)
Punjabi language teachers pick up higher order thinking skills (Asia Samachar, 17 April 2018)
Khalsa Diwan Malaysia briefs Federal minister on Punjabi language challenges (Asia Samachar, 9 Nov 2018)