On February 16 and 17, 2018, the Gurmani Center for Languages and Literature (GCLL) and the Mushtaq Ahmad Gurmani School of Humanities and Social Sciences (MGSHSS) hosted an international Punjabi conference on the theme “Punjab’s Cultural Identity: Past and Present”. This was the first time that a Punjabi conference was held at LUMS, and it was conducted almost entirely in Punjabi, rather than English, which was a pathbreaking development for LUMS.
The conference began with a keynote speech by Mushtaq Soofi, an eminent writer and President of the Punjabi Adab Board, followed by five panels: Socio-economic and cultural transformations of the Punjab (Punjab vich samaji, maali tay rehtali kayapalti); Language and Identity (Boli tay Shanakht); Classical Literature: Gender Question (Classical adab tay nar naari da sawaal); Partition: The killers and the killed (Wandd: kaun qatil, kaun maqtul); History owned fully or selectively (Tarikh de wirasat, puri ya adhuri). The panels featured world’s leading authorities on the Punjab and on Punjabi language, culture, and literature. On Friday night, the conference concluded with a Punjabi Qawwali performance, which drew on the poetry of Waris Shah, Bullhe Shah, Baba Farid, and Amir Khusro. The conference concluded with the launch of Gurmeet Kaur’s children book for children, Fascinating Folktales of Punjab, at the Gurmani Foundation in Gulberg, Lahore.