Community

Sue Hammell

Punjabi classes attract local politicians

January 11, 2007

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NDP MLAs Sue Hammell (right)  (Surrey Green Timbers) and Bruce Ralston (Surrey Whalley) were among the many students studying Beginners Punjabi at SFU Surrey in 2006. Hammell, who after two terms is starting to read the language with a degree of confidence, enrolled in the classes to better communicate with her constituents. “I enjoy the process immensely,” she says. “It's like working on a puzzle. It's difficult, but a huge proportion of my community is Punjabi-speaking, so my motivation to continue is linked to something real.” Hammell says many of her fellow students are first- or second-generation Indo-Canadians, professional and business people who did not have access to Punjabi classes in the school system. “They have the vocabulary, but they want to learn the written word. I think SFU is really meeting community needs with this program.” Beginners Punjabi, Levels I & II, runs Jan. 20-April 14 at SFU Surrey; tuition is $300. To register call 604-291-5184 or email language@sfu.ca. For information www.sfu.ca/cstudies/lang/silp
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