Punjabi folktales at the British Library

Punjab Azaad was amongst a number of community groups invited to attend a short workshop on Friday 8 July exploring some of the British Library’s Punjabi collections relating to the folktales and stories of the Punjab. The tragic romances of Hir Ranjha, Mirza Sahiba, Sassi Punnu and Sohni Mahival are some of the most famous Punjabi legends and we were able to view a selection of various historic and modern editions of these from the British Library collections.

Our attendees were guided through many items before taking a closer look individually and having the opportunity to discuss the settings, themes, plots and characters from the folktales. We had a great discussion sharing our own experiences and ideas of how these tales are an integral part of Punjabi culture and identity, and what relevance they hold today before listening to Punjabi folk music clips from the British Library’s archival sound collections.

We appreciate the British Library making space for Punjabi texts to be engaged with in this way and hope that this can be repeated in the future.