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International Mother Language Day – Punjabi Maa Boli

Language is the most effective source of communication in our lives, it plays an

important role in the evolution of human society. It establishes our relation to our past as well as future. Similarly, the mother language plays an important role in the growth of an individual as well as the society and its culture. It is our heritage and legacy, it’s an important tool for development. It’s a medium through which we connect to our culture, people, history and our roots. It provides us the comfort and reassurance of belonging to a particular place and community.

On 21st February we celebrated International Mother Language Day globally, to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and to promote multilingualism. UNESCO declared 21st February as International Mother Language Day in November 1999 as a tribute to the Language movement fought by the people of Bangladesh for the recognition of the Bangla Language.

Punjabi Language is spoken primarily by the natives of the Punjab region of India and Pakistan and Punjabi people living all over the world. It is one of India’s 22 official languages. It’s the ninth most spoken language in the world. The word Punjabi/Panjabi is derived from ‘Panj-ab’ a Persian word for ‘five-waters’ which symbolizes the five major eastern tributaries of Indus river, hence it means the ‘Land of five rivers’. These five rivers are Satluj, Beas, Jhelum, Ravi, and Chenab. The Punjab region has seen Arabic and Persian influence due to the Muslim conquests. As a result many Persian and Arabic words were incorporated in the Punjabi Language. It originally evolved from ‘Sanskrit’ language through Prakrit, a language of medieval northern India. The earliest traces of the language can be found in the ninth century in the works of Nath Yogis, Gorakshanath, and Charpatnath.

The Sufi writings of Baba Farid can be considered as one of the early creations in the Punjabi Language. It is written in Gurmukhi script – literal meaning is ‘Guru’s mouth’, which is based on Devanagri in east Punjab and in west Punjab ‘Shahmukhi’- meaning ‘from King’s mouth’, is used which is a Perso-Arabic alphabet similar to alphabets of Urdu. It is the religious language of Sikhs throughout the world, their holy book ‘Guru Granth Sahib’ is written in Gurmukhi. Second Sikh Guru Angad Dev Ji enhanced the Gurmukhi alphabet to its current state for the purpose of writing ‘Adi Granth’.

Punjabi Literary tradition is rich as many Sufis such as Shah Hussain, Bulleh Shah, Waris

Shah and Khwaja Ghulam Farid enriched it with their writings. Punjabi language is spoken in many dialects through the region of India and Pakistan. The dialects are different in pronunciation and vocabulary. The key dialects of Punjabi spoken in Punjab region of India is Majhi, Doabi, Malwai and Poadhi. In Pakistan administered Punjab the regional Sindhi language had an influence on the main Punjabi language along with Persian-Arabic languages  which resulted into dialects such as Multani, Pothohari, Hindko, Sairaiki and Majhi.

Majhi dialect of Punjabi is common to both sides of Punjab and it is basis for written and spoken language since 10th century and it’s prominently used in modern times as well.  It is the standard written form of Punjabi. Presently 122 million people around the world speaks Punjabi as a native language, courtesy to presence of Punjabi Diaspora in different parts of US, Canada and UK. They have successfully employed the language to their next generations .The language has got it’s new dimensions as in many parts of Canada and UK the street signs and boards have been put up in Punjabi Language providing it the status of official language.

The rise in technology and social media platforms provide means to Punjabis to connect globally through their mother language, which gives them identity, promotes their culture and educate them about their legacy and heritage. There are various discussion forums, websites, panels and events organised online to collaborate Punjabis all over. It unites them beyond the borders of their states and nationalities.

We should never forget our roots and heritage as it only determines our future, we should be proud of our mother tongue and celebrate it more often. We should conserve our Punjabi culture, Our Punjabiyat, and our Punjabi Language.

Let’s remember Babu Rajab Ali’s Poem –‘ Mithe Bol Bolide Punjabi Boli de’


ਬਾਬੂ ਰਜਬ ਅਲੀ ਦੀ ਕਵਿਤਾ - ਮਿੱਠੇ ਬੋਲ ਬੋਲੀਦੇ ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ਬੋਲੀ ਦੇ:


ਖੜ੍ਹੇ ਹੋ ਗਏ ਰੱਖ ਕੇ ਭਰੋਸਾ ਰੱਬ ਤੇ ।

ਰੀਝ ਲਾ ਕੇ ਕਵਿਤਾ ਸੁਣਾਉਂਦੇ ਕਬਤੇ ।

ਸ਼ੈਰੀ ਦੇ ਕਚਹਿਰੀ 'ਚ ਭੰਡਾਰ ਖੋਲ੍ਹੀ ਦੇ ।

ਮਿੱਠੇ ਬੋਲ ਬੋਲੀਦੇ, ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ਬੋਲੀ ਦੇ ।


ਨੱਥ ਘੜੇ ਸਿਉਨੇ ਤੇ, ਸੁਨਿਆਰਾ ਮੁੱਲ ਲੈ ।

ਹਾਰ ਗੁੰਦੇ ਮਾਲਣ, ਬਗ਼ੀਚਿਉਂ ਫੁੱਲ ਲੈ ।

ਬੁੱਲ੍ਹ, ਦੰਦ, ਜੀਭੋਂ, ਲਫ਼ਜ਼ ਪਰੋਲੀ ਦੇ ।

ਮਿੱਠੇ ਬੋਲ ਬੋਲੀਦੇ, ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ਬੋਲੀ ਦੇ ।


ਨਵੇਂ ਗੀਤ ਨਵੀਆਂ ਵਿਖਾਉਂਦੇ ਰੰਗਤਾਂ ।

ਸੁਣ-ਸੁਣ ਹੁੰਦੀਆਂ ਨਿਹਾਲ ਸੰਗਤਾਂ ।

ਦਿਲ ਖ਼ੁਸ਼ ਕਰਾਂਗੇ ਹਰੇਕ ਟੋਲੀ ਦੇ ।

ਮਿੱਠੇ ਬੋਲ ਬੋਲੀਦੇ, ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ਬੋਲੀ ਦੇ ।


ਏਸ਼ੀਆ 'ਚ ਏਹੋ ਜ੍ਹੀ ਜ਼ਬਾਨ ਮਿੱਠੀ ਨਾ ।

ਯੂਰਪ, 'ਫ਼ਰੀਕਾ, ਅਮਰੀਕਾ ਡਿੱਠੀ ਨਾ ।

ਦੁੱਧ ਵਿੱਚ ਖੰਡ ਦੇ ਪਤਾਸੇ ਘੋਲੀ ਦੇ ।

ਮਿੱਠੇ ਬੋਲ ਬੋਲੀਦੇ, ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ਬੋਲੀ ਦੇ ।


ਆ ਜੋ ਗੁਰਮੁਖੀ ਕਿਸੇ ਨੇ ਜੇ ਸਿੱਖਣੀ ।

ਪੜ੍ਹਨੀ ਅਸਾਨ ਤੇ ਸੁਖ਼ਾਲੀ ਲਿੱਖਣੀ ।

ਅੱਖਰ ਜਿਉਂ ਫਾਗ ਜ੍ਹਿ ਜਲੇਬੀ ਪੋਲੀ ਦੇ ।

ਮਿੱਠੇ ਬੋਲ ਬੋਲੀਦੇ, ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ਬੋਲੀ ਦੇ ।


ਬਾਬੇ ਗੁਰੂ ਨਾਨਕ ਗਰੰਥ ਰਚੇ ਜੀ ।

ਸ਼ੌਕ ਨਾਲ ਲੱਗਦੇ ਪੜ੍ਹਨ ਬੱਚੇ ਜੀ ।

ਦਸਾਂ ਗੁਰੂਆਂ ਦੇ ਇਤਿਹਾਸ ਫੋਲੀ ਦੇ ।

ਮਿੱਠੇ ਬੋਲ ਬੋਲੀਦੇ, ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ਬੋਲੀ ਦੇ ।


ਫੜ ਜਮ ਅੱਗੇ ਲੌਣਗੇ ਡਰਾਵਣੇ ।

ਪੈਜੂ ਰੱਬ ਸੱਚੇ ਦੇ ਖੜੋਣਾਂ ਸਾਹਮਣੇ ।

ਸੁਣਿਐਂ 'ਸੱਚ ਖੰਡ' 'ਚ ਅਮਲ ਤੋਲੀ ਦੇ ।

ਮਿੱਠੇ ਬੋਲ ਬੋਲੀਦੇ, ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ਬੋਲੀ ਦੇ ।


'ਬਾਬੂ' ਦੇ ਜਮਾਤੀ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਪੀਣਿਉਂ ।

ਘੋਲੀਉਂ ਬਿੱਕਰ, ਗੋਕਲ ਸਲ੍ਹੀਣਿਉਂ ।

ਬੱਗਾ ਸਿਉਂ ਤੇ ਸੰਤੋਖ ਸਿਉਂ 'ਡਰੋਲੀ' ਦੇ ।

ਮਿੱਠੇ ਬੋਲ ਬੋਲੀਦੇ, ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ਬੋਲੀ ਦੇ ।


Picture Credits : Ravan Khosa

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