Going to foreign distant lands is often very stressful and bewildering especially when you don’t understand and know the language of the country that you are in. But when you find someone or something that appears to know your language, things automatically seem to get sorted at some level. And, this is what the Sikh community is doing at one of the cities of US to make it a home away from home, Norwich; by installing Punjabi signage saying “Ji Aaya Nu”. The Norwich’s administration has approved of this idea as it feels that it will promote a sense of togetherness among the different communities living in the region.
Norwich Welcomes You: “Ji Aaya Nu”
Canada has already put up multi-lingual sign boards in different national languages including Punjabi in many of its cities. And today US has also welcomed the idea of installing signage having different languages. The city of Norwich is in Connecticut state of US and has different people from different communities around the world residing in it. The Sikh community of Norwich originally came up with the idea of putting welcome signage in different languages. Swaranjit Singh Khalsa one of the Sikh community members designed the multi lingual signage and also funded the project in the city with help of his community.
The welcome signage has various other languages on it apart from Punjabi like Spanish, German, Chinese, Arabic and Italian and are erected at the city’s entry points. Swaranjit designed the signage with the help of his friend from diverse backgrounds. Sawarnjit tried to talk the Norwich city authority round and made them understand the importance of setting multi lingual sign boards across the city as he believes that they will show how open the city of Norwich is to all the communities if the globe.
Coming Together As One
Swaranjit feels that the multi lingual welcome signage might be just a piece of flat metal board but it holds a lot of significance as it brings a sense of connection and familiarity to the citizens of Norwich. Swaranjit displayed his gratitude towards the mayor of the city and the City Council Member for giving nod to the initiative. Canada has already proved his openness to diverse ethnic groups including Punjab and has Punjabi welcome signage at Canada’s Vancouver Airport. You can also spot the street and market names in Canada being written in Punjabi along with English in cities like Vancouver, Surrey, Delta, Abbotsford and Richmond.