Punjab gets an international approach

A Sikh Heritage Trail app, developed by Ishvinder Singh, a 29-year-old project engineer in an aerospace company was launched on June 11 that explores the Sikh’s history in Singapore. Ishvinder Singh and his team of Chris Cai, 29, and Melody Ho, 24, as well as head researcher Vithya Subramaniam, 27, spent about three years putting together the app.

Aiming to cover a trail of Sikhs imprisoned in 1850 in Singapore, then a penal colony of the British Empire, this SGD 20,000-app, is available both on Android Google play store and the Apple app store.

The trail also includes the cover of the late Maharaj Singh who fought against British Raj with bravery and planned revolts with his followers. The Sikh martyr was jailed in 1850 at the now-defunct Outram Prison. He died in 1856. His unmarked tomb in the forested grounds, where the Singapore General Hospital is today, was relocated to the Silat Road Sikh Temple (Gurdwara) in 1966.Among other trails, the app has the Sepoy Lines, which is the area around Outram Road and Cantonment Road where the sepoys, or Indian soldiers in the British Raj, built their barracks.

Another international connection that Punjab is developing is with the film industry of the state. Going to an international level, the first-ever Virasat International Punjabi Film Festival is being organized in Melbourne, Australia, from August 11 to 13 by SanjhiAwaaz Radio and Hundal Films, and will see the participation of various Punjabi filmmakers.

Apart from political personalities from India and Australia including Tony Abbott, former Austrian Prime Minister, many film and business personalities from Punjab and Australia like BinnuDhillon and Harish Verma, would be participating in the festival.

An award night will be organized on August 13 along with a business forum between Indian and Australian business delegates and politicians, after the screening of the films.The festival that would be known as VIPFFA from now on, would promote talent from Punjab and Punjabi Diaspora in Australia, which is an attempt to open a treasure chest of our language for the younger generation.Highlighting the issue of female feticide, the films to be screened at the festival include feature films, short films and documentaries that focus to embrace the artistic aspect of Punjabi language and culture.


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