New Zealand's Sikh community came together to celebrate the second Punjabi Language Week (November 22-28) over the weekend.

Since Auckland was at alert level 3.2, there were Covid 19 restrictions in place. The event, which was organised by the Wellington Punjabi Women's Association in association with the High Commission of India, saw the release of postage stamps by New Zealand Post. Interestingly, the stamps adorned with the Phulkari dupatta featured colours of India and Pakistan, the Punjabi language script "Gurmukhi" and the Pakistani Punjabi script "Shahmukhi."

India's Honorary Consul in Auckland, Bhav Dhillon, was the chief guest at the event that took place at Sir Barry Curtis Park. Applauding the joint efforts of the Punjabi media and community in promoting the Punjabi language, he said, "It is commendable that the ethnic Punjabi media and the community have come together to celebrate the Punjabi language and have made the event possible."

Others in attendance included former National MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, community leaders Parminder Singh Papatoetoe, Kharak Singh, Amarjit Singh, Navtej Randhawa, and New Zealand Sikh Games committee members Daljit Singh Sidhu among many others.

The entire concept of Punjabi Language Week and the pastage stamp was a joint effort of Radio Spice, Punjabi Herald and Kuk Punjabi, all members of punjabi media here in Auckland.

The Wellington leg of the celebration, which took place at the Wellington Library, saw around 100 people in attendance. Language activities, traditional Punjabi dance performances, and presentations by community leaders.

The first stamp was released in Wellington by South Hutt MP Jenny Anderson and Durga Das, the first secretary at the Indian High Commission. The second one was released by Rakesh Naidoo, the first Indian-origin Superintendent of Police, and Abdul Malik, the former Pakistan High Commissioner.

Well known scribe, Harjinder Singh Basiala of The Punjabi Herald also seen in the picture above was lauded by everyone for his untiring efforts to promote the punjabi language and also to bring everyone together to celebrate the Punjabi language week.