Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu lit get its due
May 18th, 2017
The third-most spoken language in Canada is Punjabi. Now South Asian literature is on the rise throughout Canada, particularly in British Columbia as evidenced by Rajwant Chilana’s 500-page directory.
It took him five years to complete, but now Rajwant Chilana of Surrey has been able to self-publish South Asian Writers in Canada, a reference work that identifies more than 700 South Asian (Indo-Canadian) writers in Canada.
South Asian Writers in Canada was launched by the Central Association of Punjabi Writers of North America (CAPWNA) on March 25, 2017 with a gathering in Bombay Banquet Hall, Surrey, B.C. Those on hand included the President of CAPWNA, Charan Virdy, as well as Acharya Dwivedi, Prithpal Singh Gill, Surjeet Madhavpuri and Rupinder Khira.
The first chapter of the book contains the activities of over 100 South Asian literary organizations in Canada while the second chapter includes Literary Awards, Prizes and Honors which were instituted and conferred on writers.
The chapters 3 to 7 comprise alphabetically the biographical and published material of writers in Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu, English, Nepali, Gujarati, Marathi, Sanskrit, Tamil and other Indian languages. The last chapter deals with the teaching facilities of South Asian languages in Canada. There are also an author index, bibliographical references, consulted resources and selected websites.
For South Asian Writers in Canada, writers in English, Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu, Nepali and other languages were invited to send their details, with photographs.
Rajwant Singh Chilana, M.Sc; M.L.S; Ph.D. is an Associate Professor Emeritus (University of Illinois) who operates Asian Publications in Surrey, B.C., providing access to many titles pertaining to Indian culture.
Having worked in several municipal libraries across the lower Mainland before joining UBC’s Asian Library, Chilana has also written the Dictionary of Sikh Names and an International Bibliography of Sikh Studies (Springer 2005) containing thousands of entries on Sikhs in Canada. In 2012 he published Punjabi Names and Their Meanings.
According to his website:
“Dr. Rajwant Singh Chilana is an Associate Professor (Emeritus) of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA. He holds MSc (Zoology), MLS, and PhD degrees, and earlier served as Librarian at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, and University of Delhi, India as well as Library Manager at the Fraser Valley Regional Library, British Columbia, Canada. In 2005 he was presented with the Best Librarian award by SATKAL Trust (Chicago) for his outstanding contributions in promoting librarianship in India, Canada and United States.
“In 2004, Dr. Chilana also received fellowship by the Society for the Information Science (India) for his significant contribution to librarianship. He has published seven books and over thirty five research papers, and twenty book reviews. His famous book ‘Dictionary of Sikh Names’ was widely acclaimed and has been reprinted many times. Dr. Chilana is actively involved in various professional organizations, and has been Chair of the Asian, African and the Middle Eastern Section (AAMES), and Executive member of the International Relations Committee of the American Library Association.”
In March 2012, Chilana’s company called India Bookworld—-with no affiliation to 27-year-old B.C. BookWorld—-launched its publishing program in B.C. under the name of Asian Publications and published Punjabi Names & Their Meanings.
In February of 2014, Chilana opened a bookstore outlet at the York Business Center in Surrey. India Bookworld specializes in books and audio-visual material on a wide range of topics: religion, culture, history, languages learning, children, yoga, health, cooking, arts, Bollywood, astrology, numerology, and a large selection of fiction and non-fiction popular books. In addition to English, these books are available in popular Indian languages, including Punjabi, Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Urdu, Sanskrit, Tamil, among others. These books and other materials are imported from India, the UK, and USA on a regular basis. Manuscripts are invited for publication in English, Punjabi, Hindi and other Indian languages.
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