The world’s first and largest Punjabi dictionary complied by the Punjab Institute of Language, Arts & Culture (PILAC) was formally launched in an event held at Governor House on Tuesday.
Compiled in a period of over two years, the seven-volume dictionary can be considered as the mother of all Punjabi dictionaries in the world due to the content and variety of words used in it.
The dictionary was formally launched by Governor Punjab Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar in a ceremony attended by leading poets, intellectuals and singers of Punjabi language.
“The compilation of the dictionary was undoubtedly a daunting task for us as you cannot see such a rigorous research work in the Punjabi dictionaries in the whole subcontinent,” said PILAC Director General (DG) Dr Sughra Sadaf.
Dr Shahid Kashmiri, a retired Professor of the Punjabi language who was the project director for the uphill task, said on the occasion that nothing is impossible in this world and his team proved it today by compiling the dictionary in the short span of just two years. He said that the dictionary is a gift for the people of Punjab given by the PILAC.
Senior journalist Sohail Warraich said on the launching of the dictionary that we are lagging behind from the modern world because we don’t have any focus on research and reference work while these two subjects are considered as most important by the West.
Legendary folk singer Arif Lohar said that if someone is not loyal to his mother language then he will not be loyal to his own mother and therefore we all should love our Punjabi language and culture. “I was offered the immigration of a country when I went there to perform but I flatly refused while saying that I am here just because of my country and will die while serving it,” said Lohar, who has sung the Punjabi folk songs in the whole world.
Governor Punjab Chaudhry Sarwar said that it is not the largest dictionary of the Sub-continent but the largest dictionary of the whole world and PILAC should be appreciated on this milestone.
He said that he got approved a budget of 0.3 million UK pound for a cultural Asian Mela when he became the councilor of Glasgow City Council and such cultural activities would also be held here.
He also announced that a Punjabi Day will be celebrated soon at Lahore’s Governor House depicting true culture and heritage of this rich soil. My children still speak Punjabi in the home despite the fact that they lived in Europe all the time and it is the beauty of this language, he concluded.