Back in my days of school I was not fortunate enough to be able to be in Punjab. I went to school in India starting 1983. We were in Amritsar for a couple of weeks before we went to the school (GNFC) in Mussoorie, UP. That was the last time we were able to be in Punjab till many years later due to the attacks on the Golden Temple in 1984 and subsequent violence.
My brother Dharam Singh and many of the younger Sikhs from my community have been very fortunate to now go to school just outside of Amritsar (Cherta Sahib) at Miri Piri Academy. While I did learn to read and write Punjabi, not many people spoke it, and our teacher was not very good at teaching it. So we learnt mostly Hindi from conversations with locals. Nowadays I speak somewhat of a mixture of Hindi and Punjabi, though I am pretty rusty due to the lack of practice. Whenever I go to India it seems to come back to me which is nice. The “Kids” who went to school there at Miri Piri Academy in Amritsar are another story. They have been growing up there so are totally Punjabi. Many of them speak Punjabi pretty fluently which is pretty great for most western born “White” Sikhs. Even I was a little surprised to hear Sada Sat Simran, Jugat Guru and Harimandir Jot talking Punjabi desi style during a Gurdwara in Singapore. You can hear the audio clip on this page near the end.
At the school the kids do all kinds of sports. One of the sports that they learn and play quite often is the Punjabi sport of Kabaddi. Someone just sent me a link to a video of a big Kabadi competition where the Miri Piri Academy Girls played against some other Girls in Punjab. They won the game too! It looks like a huge event with thousands of people. It’s been ages since I played Kabaddi…so it was cool to watch the video.
You can watch the Kabaddi video online here.
The Miri Piri Academy girls are in red.