"Punjabi in BC" -- Announcing oral history project exploring the Punjabi language in British Columbia

Anne Murphy Discussion

Punjabi in BC: The people who have made Punjabi a Canadian language

K-12 teachers | Advocates and Activists | Writers and Journalists | Students


The “Punjabi in BC” Project team is pleased to present results of an oral history research project that has been ongoing since 2019 (https://blogs.ubc.ca/annemurphy/research/punjabi-in-bc/). The project is led by Primary Investigator Dr. Anne Murphy, Department of History, University of British Columbia) and Collaborators Sukhwant Hundal (author, editor, and retired UBC Punjabi instructor) and Lovneet Aujla (formerly PURE Program Assistant), with the extensive contribution of UBC undergraduates and recent graduates.


The “Punjabi in BC” research project presents interviews with 50+ individuals in British Columbia who have been or are currently active in the life of the Punjabi language in the province: K-12 educators, activists and advocates, and writers and journalists. The interviews were undertaken and edited with the paid research assistance of UBC undergraduates and recent graduates, with support from the Program for Undergraduate Research Experience (out of the office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation) at UBC, the UBC Work Learn program, an anonymous donor to the UBC Department of History, and the Insight Grant program of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. Dr. Murphy’s Insight project explores the history of Punjabi language and cultural production across the India and Pakistan border, and beyond. 

The first 10 interviews from the project were released in 2020, but the Covid-19 pandemic delayed the project. The remaining 40+ interviews will be made public in the coming months in partnership with Sukhwant Hundal and Watan online magazine (http://www.watanpunjabi.ca/) and other friends in the Punjabi language literary community; see below for links to Facebook, Instagram, and the Web. 




Instagram: @anne.murphy.oral.histories

Anyone interested in weekly emails with interviews for the week are welcome to join the mailing list by emailing anne.murphy@ubc.ca

To give a sense of the material in the series, this post shares interviews with this week’s Narrators: educator and author Sarbdeep Kaur, and author and community historian Kalwant Nadeem Parmar.

Sarbdeep Kaur


Promo 1: https://youtu.be/xWEkKNhd3C8

Promo 2: https://youtu.be/12v-NktEdKo

Full Interview:

Part 1: https://youtu.be/hqYSCUVODUU

Part 2: https://youtu.be/1NH-4HeXZK0

Part 3: https://youtu.be/rsZeq3DkglQ


Nadeem Parmar


Promo 1: https://youtu.be/WGjLZnGce5I

Promo 2: https://youtu.be/BEgDk1GvUbo

Promo 3: https://youtu.be/X-dD9ymS2bY

Full interview:

Part 1: https://youtu.be/782g2pcYy7I

Part 2: https://youtu.be/xcSEV3KtDmM

There is much more to be done to fully document the rich life of Punjabi in British Columbia, and in Canada overall; this project represents a beginning of this effort.