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Apni Boli Bol (2024)

Friday, February 23, 2024 | 6:30 PM | A-13 MCB Auditorium, Academic Block, LUMS


Apni Boli Bol Celebrating International Mother Languages Day


The Gurmani Centre for Languages and Literature held a vibrant event ‘Apni Boli Bol,’ on 23rd February 2024, celebrating the International Mother Languages Day. The event was organized in collaboration with the LUMS Culture Society and attracted a large number of attendees from within and outside the campus. Dedicated to the richness and diversity of some of our regional languages such as Punjabi, Saraiki, Balochi, Pashto, Persian, Arabic and Sindhi, this special celebration provided a delightful opportunity for the participants and audience to appreciate and enjoy  Pakistan’s linguistic and cultural diversity.


The event commenced with a game of jeopardy with questions on languages covering categories of translation, history, literature, and music. The audience was divided into three teams, and each member of the teams participated with great enthusiasm. Before presenting the performances, Dr. Nadhra Shahhaz Khan, Director Gurmani Center, emphasized the need to own and learn regional languages as the first step towards connecting people and provinces of the country with each other. Learning a language other than one’s own, is an act of respect for the community that speaks this language. These bridges of respect, thus, must be built moving in all directions far and wide across the country. Following this, the President of the LUMS Culture Society, Aneeb-ul-Hasan Qureshi, spoke about the efforts of the society in promoting culture and language among the student body at LUMS. He talked about language being a powerful tool of connection and knowledge.


The Gurmani Centre language instructors were then invited to share their thoughts starting with Dr. Nasir Abbass Nayyar (Head of Publications). He proudly spoke in his mother tongue Punjabi and talked about the post-colonial stigma of being embarrassed of owning our language. He emphasized the importance of understanding the educational, cultural and emotional significance of languages. He also spoke about the history of the International Mother Languages Day and its celebration as a tribute to the language movement by the people of Bangladesh. Dr. Hafiz Abdul Qadir (Arabic instructor) talked about the significance of Arabic language for the Muslim community. He said that learning Arabic will enable communication with millions of Arabic speaking people around the world. Professor Zahid Hussain (Punjabi instructor) talked about the need to learn native languages to understand history and culture. Professor Iftikhar Wazir (Persian instructor) posited that Persian was the lingua franca of the subcontinent for centuries before the region’s colonization by the British. Learning this language, therefore, can connect us to our rich history and literary traditions. Professor Ashok Kumar (Sindhi Instructor) spoke about the history of Sindhi language spread over more than 5000 years and its enchanting music and folklore that cannot be understood and enjoyed unless the intricacies of the language are studied. An impromptu dance of the professor along with the students on ‘Ho Jamalo’ was a great treat for the audience.



The first performance came straight from the heart of Sindh. A beautiful Sindhi song was sung which was met with great applause from the audience. This was followed by a mesmerizing singing performance of ‘Heer’ by descendant of the famous Punjabi poet Waris Shah that captivated the listeners. In-between the performances, there was also some interaction with the audience where an audience member was randomly selected based on their seat number and invited on stage. They were asked to share something about their native language be it any impactful experience, couplet or song and were given a token of appreciation. A Saraiki Jhumar performance was greatly enjoyed as the audience clapped along. A melodiously Persian ghazal by Hafiz Shirazi was performed by a group of students led by their instructor. Persian culture was further represented by the recitation of Persian poetry along with its translation followed by Punjabi folk poetry recitation. Performers from the National College of Arts delighted the audience with the enchanting melodies of Gilgit Baltistan and Chitral. A LUMS student impressed everyone with her eloquent Pashto poetry recitation along with its translation. The Balochi Dochapi dance performed at a Balochi folk song won great applause and a short Arabic skit performed by students currently enrolled in the Arabic language course was admired by the audience.


The successful event, ‘Apni Boli Bol’ event provided an opportunity for experiencing a vibrant tapestry of languages through engaging performances and interactive activities. The event aimed to highlight the significance of learning languages to build cultural and artistic bridges for fostering empathy. Recognizing the importance of regional languages in this endeavor, linguistic diversity was celebrated as the foundation of cultural richness.

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