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Vancouver-based global Punjabi book prize announces winner and finalists of $45K in awards


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Vancouver, B.C. (November 18, 2022) – The world’s signature prize for Punjabi fiction recently announced its 2022 winner, Balwinder Singh Grewal, of a $ 25,000 CDN award plus trophy. Alongside him, Javed Boota and Arvinder Kaur were awarded $10,000 CDN each as two finalists.Awardees were presented with their awards during the 9th annual Dhahan Prize for Punjabi Literature ceremonies, held November 17, 2022, at the Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel, Surrey. Part of the ceremony included MLA Rachna Singh presenting a Provincial Proclamation declaring “Punjabi Literature Week in British Columbia.”

Grewal (Ludhiana, Punjab, India), received the award for his short story collection Dubolia’ (‘The Diver’). He said, “The Dhahan Prize is a huge tap on my shoulder. I am happy and inspired to continue my creative journey with a greater sense of gratitude and responsibility.”

Boota (Chantilly, Virginia, USA), was honored for his short story collection, ‘Cholan Di Burki (‘A Mouth Full of Rice’), written in the Shahmukhi script. 

Boota shared with the audience, “From an early age I have been influenced by Punjabi culture and language. This led me to explore my interests and curiosity in Punjabi literature. With this Prize I will have more desire to write and promote Punjabi.”

Kaur (Amritsar, Punjab, India) was a finalist for her short story collection, ‘Jhanjraan Wale Paer’ (‘Feet with Tinkling Bells’).

Launched in 2013 by the Canada India Education Society (CIES) and the University of British Columbia (UBC), The Prize has garnered international recognition among Punjabi literary creators and critics.

This year, a record number of submissions arrived from India, Pakistan, Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia.

The Prize’s presenting partner is RBC Foundation. Barj and Rita Dhahan along with their family and friends, are primary funders. 

2022 sponsors included RBC Dominion Securities – Harj & Darshan Grewal, G.L. Smith Planning and Design Inc., Westland Insurance, Adrian Keenan Personal Real Estate Corporation (ReMax, Mayne-Pender), Tim Hortons and HUB International.


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