Sirsa-based writer Kesra Ram has won the $25,000-Dhahan Prize for excellence in Punjabi Literature, 2020, for his collection of short stories, Zanani Paud (Female Flower).
The Dhahan Prize promotes Punjabi literature on a global scale by awarding $25,000 (in Canadian dollars, Rs 13.8 lakh) annually to the best book of fiction published in either Gurmukhi or Shahmukhi scripts, along with two additional finalist prizes of $10,000 (Rs 5.5 lakh) each.
Lahore’s Zubair Ahmad won $10,000 for Panni Di Kandh (Wall of Water), a collection of short stories in the Shahmukhi script, while Harkirat Kaur Chahal of Chilliwack, BC, Canada was selected as the finalist of the Gurmukhi script for her novel, Aadam Grehan (Humanity’s Eclipse).
“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 woman author for her ground-breaking novel Aadham Grehan,” Barj S Dhahan, the founder of the awards, said in a release from Vancouver on Wednesday.
“This novel is a gripping account of human longing for intimacy, belonging and acceptance by those who are marginalised and oppressed due to their ambiguous gender identification,” he said.
BRIDGING PUNJABI COMMUNITIES AROUND THE WORLD
The Dhahan Prize, which aims to inspire the creation of Punjabi literature across borders, bridging Punjabi communities around the world, and promoting Punjabi literature on a global scale, was established in Vancouver, British Columbia, where Punjabi people, language, and culture have a rich history.
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 the University of British Columbia, and is funded by Barj and Rita Dhahan, and family and friends.