The Dhahan Prize for Punjabi Literature proudly announces the 2020 winners awarded for excellence in literature.
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 additional finalist prizes of $10,000 CDN.
2020 Winners and Finalists of the Dhahan Prize in Punjabi Literature are: Winner ~ $25,000: Zanani Paud (Female Flower), short stories by Kesra Ram (Sirsa, Haryana, India) Finalist ~ $10,000: Shahmukhi Script Panni Di Kandh (Wall of Water), short stories by Zubair Ahmad (Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan) Finalist ~ $10,000: Gurmukhi script Aadam Grehan (Humanity’s Eclipse), Novel by Harkirat Kaur Chahal, Chilliwack, BC, Canada)
“These Dhahan Prize winning books touch upon the themes of memory, loss, pain, trauma from abuse and violence, and the long journey of hope and healing. Dhahan Prize is thrilled to be making history in awarding for the first time a female author Ms. Harkirat Kaur Chahal for her ground-breaking novel Aadham Grehan,” says Barj S. Dhahan. “This novel is a gripping account of human longing for intimacy, belonging and acceptance by those who are marginalized and oppressed due to their ambiguous gender identification.”
The Dhahan Prize is the largest literary award in South Asia’s indigenous languages celebrating the rich history of the Punjabi literature. The 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, setting the stage for its select winners to reach broader multilingual audiences.
The Dhahan Prize was established in Vancouver, British Columbia, where Punjabi people, language, and culture have a rich history. Punjabi is now the 3rd most spoken language in Canada and is a strong thread in the multicultural fabric of the nation.
The prize has been established by the Canada India Education Society in partnership with the Department of Asian Studies in the Faculty of Arts at University of British Columbia, and is funded by Barj and Rita Dhahan, and family and friends.
Due to the Covid-19 closure of schools in British Columbia in late March, the Dhahan Youth Award creative writing contest for 2020 was cancelled. However, Coast Capital Savings Credit Union as presenting sponsor for the Dhahan Youth Award together with the Dhahan Prize in partnership with BC secondary schools will be holding the contest in 2021 for British Columbia’s grade 11 & 12 high school students for their short stories written in Punjabi and English.