Land And Language

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According to me, surnames or last names are really important for an individual. By this I mean surnames provide a background history and knowledge about our family and ourselves too as it is very important to know where we came from and who our ancestors are. If I talk about my family, I am a single child of my parents but I have a joint family with a lot of cousins. My grandfather was the eldest of his brothers and sisters. From the information I have from my grandfather, from my seventh great grandfather to my father, they were all born in village Padda in Punjab in India. My surname is also Padda as my ancestors are from the village Padda. This a small town with total population 1557 (male and female population 1053 and 736 respectively) from the census data. Although the population has been rising but not rapidly. This small town mostly has indigenous people and they mostly do farming for their living.

Padda is a Srihargobind Pur Tehsil village in Punjab State's Gurdaspur District, India. It is located 51 KM south from the Gurdaspur district headquarters. Padda Pin code is 143514 and the post office Ghoman (Padda). The ancestors that my grandfather know are living in this area from about 300 years. They are native to this place and before coming to Padda they lived in a nearby village known as Bhol. From my ancestors there were two brothers who both lived in Bhol village and because of some reason they had a family fight and my ancestor came to village Padda because of that fight and lived there forever. But my ancestors are indigenous people as they are living in this for many years. My ancestors are categorized as Sikhs and Jatts ( Farming and agricultural community in Punjab). It is truly significant regarding the ascent of the Sikh Alliance. The entire of the Punjab was then conveyed among the Sikh ruler who triumphed over the Supreme Mughal governors. Now I would like to reflect history on Gurdaspur district of my ancestor’s village. Over the span of a couple of years, in any case, Maharaja Ranjit Singh (Punjab) gained all the domain which those had held. Pathankot and the neighbouring towns in the plain, together with the entire of the slope bit of the region, shaped piece of the region surrendered by the Sikhs to the English after the First Somewhat English Sikh War in 1845. In 1862, in the wake of accepting a couple of augmentations, the area was brought into its present shape. In 1901 the populace was 940,334, indicating a slight reduction, contrasted and an expansion of 15% in the earlier decade.

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Gurdaspur was established by Sahib Profound Chand and was named after his granddad Guriya in the start of seventeenth century. In his respect, this city was named Gurdaspur. He purchased land for Gurdaspur from the Jats of Sangi Gotra. Guriya a Sanwal Brahmin of Kaushal Gotra originated from Paniar a town arranged 5 miles north of Gurdaspur. The progenitors of Guriya originated from Ayodhaya and settled in Paniar. Guriya Ji had two children Nawal Rai and Pala. The relatives of Nawal Rai settled in Gurdaspur and Nawal Rai's child Baba Profound Chand was a contemporary of Master Gobind Singh. It is accepted that Master Gobind Singh gave the title of Ganj Bakhsh (Proprietor Of Fortune) to Baba Profound Chand. The relatives of Baba Profound Chand are called mahants. (Gurdaspur)

My history reflect a lot of ups and downs too as for a long period of time, firstly it was ruled by Mughals and then by Britain. I remember my grandfather told me many stories about the time Britain was ruling India, he told me how they treated them badly and Britain ( abroad people) came from outside to rule their country and treated people of their own country ( Indian people) in a miserable way. My grandfather told people were not able to get justice and they were not able to represent their country in Sports and other things too like language. Even my ancestors Sikhs fought in two world wars supporting Britain and many died serving them. Approximately 1.2 million Indians volunteered to battle for the English Indian Armed force in WWI, making them the biggest volunteer armed force in the Incomparable War. While Sikhs just make up 2% of India's populace, 22% of the English Indian Armed force were Sikhs. In World War I and II, 83,005 Sikhs were murdered and 109,045 injured battling for the associated powers. Sikhs keep on serving gladly in the Australian Safeguard Power today. (World War 1 - The Anzacs and the Sikhs) This shows that, they did their duty as a soldier and as civilians and helped an another country, even this was not their fight. My third great grandfather’s brother also fought WW1 in Singapore and died there. He was not married and was a young man. This shows that they were brave and were not frightened to fight because they gave their word that they will fight and help Britain because they were ruling India. A huge number of Sikh and Commonwealth fighters were slaughtered in the war. Known for their courage, respect and loyalty, Sikhs were named the 'Lions of the Great War'. (Leicester Mercury, 2014)

My ancestors spoke the Punjabi language and till date this the main language of my hometown Punjab. Punjabi is an ancient language, yet like Punjabi, began its abstract vocation entirely late. The content is Gurmukhi dependent on Devanagri. This Eastern Punjab vernacular formed into an abstract language around the start of the seventeenth century though Hindki still stays a gathering of tongues. (Punjabi Page, Punjabi Language, History of Punjabi language) Since the Sikhs in India communicate in Punjabi as their overwhelming language, their sacred book Master Granth Sahib, utilizes Punjabi language, written in Gurmukhi letters in order. The Gurmukhi letter set is gotten from the Landa letter set that has establishes in the Brahmi letter set. Second Sikh Master Angad (1539-1552) improved the Gurmukhi letter set to its present state for the express motivation behind composing the heavenly book, offering ascend to the trademark 'Master's mouth.' Punjabi isn't the main language utilized in Sikh sacred texts; the GGS has a few different dialects scattered with Punjabi, including – Persian, Sanskrit, Brajbhasha and Khariboli – all composed utilizing the Gurmukhi letter set however. (History of the Punjabi Language)

Even before the colonization of Pakistan and Punjab, there was a common language which was Punjabi. Language is without a doubt a basic field for the activity of pilgrim power, and this was as valid in frontier India as in other pioneer contexts.1C. A. Bayly has contended further that language is key to setting up pioneer control. In his Domain and Data, an investigation recently eighteenth-and nineteenth-century India, Bayly persuasively contends that the pilgrim state's capacity to get to indigenous net-works of data and adjust them to its very own finishes was basic to its prosperity. This entrance laid on pilgrim authorities' semantic capacities in Persian, Sanskrit, and nearby vernacular dialects. (Mir, 2010)

Its been two years, I’ve been living in Canada and the most spoken language here is English. Although, there are native people living on this land for so many years yet their language is not mandatory or spoken now on this land. The government tried to finish language of native people by different techniques, for example, native children studying in schools or universities with the English language, not by their native language even that is their land. Also, it is very important for me to know about the ancient language of native people as I am living on their land and I should have knowledge about the culture and language.

The land I’m living on was the land of first nations that include Katzie, Kwantlen, Kwekwetlem, Qayqayt, Semiahmoo, and Tsawwassen. The language of the land is Halkomelem. The term Halkomelem is a term utilized by language specialists to bunch various firmly related vernaculars spoken in the lower terrain and southern Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The lingos can be partitioned into three general groupings: Hul'q'umi'num' or 'Cowichan' (Vancouver Island, the domain incorporates the urban areas of Duncan and Nanaimo); Hǝn̓q̓ǝmin̓ǝm̓ additionally called 'Musqueam’ (around the mouth of the Fraser River); and Halq'eméylem or 'Stó:lō' (along the Fraser waterway from Matsqui to Yale). If you don't mind note that the language names in 'cites' are in like manner use in English, however may erroneously speak to the countries being referred to. I will utilize the English expression Halkomelem to speak to each of the three dialects together. Every language has its very own unmistakable orthography and sound framework. One can see the sorts of sound changes that different the dialects by their names. Notice in the sound diagrams beneath that specific sounds present in one language might be absent from the others. These missing sounds are demonstrated by runs. (Halkomelem)

There is a connection of my ancestral history to the history of land where I am living now. The land I am living on is the land of native people same like Punjab was the land of my ancestors who were native. Due to political and other democratic issues both lands were taken by the people who were not a part of the land. This effected most of the native people of the land because they did not wanted any outer people to come at their home land and treat them badly. Moreover, they imposed many hard rules on them. It was like someone coming to your own house and telling you what to do. This kind of behaviour was intolerable but native people were not able to do anything because of government and political powers. For indigenous people groups, the study of history isn't new, despite the fact that it has now been guaranteed by postmodern hypotheses. Contested stories and various talks about the past, by various networks, is firmly connected to the legislative issues of ordinary contemporary indigenous life. (Smith, 2012)

Furthermore, there are also problems created by governments like education of first nations children. Insights Canada says there are roughly 260,000 First Nations children of school age. At the point when conveyed more than four years, Trudeau's responsibility adds up to an expansion of $2,500 per youngster every year, in this way crossing just 65 percent of the hole and leaving nothing to spend on post-optional or grown-up instruction. (Macdougall, 2015) The expression 'Indigenous' is a word perceived in the seventeenth century that stems from the Latin root 'indigena,'meaning 'sprung from the land.' 2 As the Latin language developed, the importance came to be characterized as 'conceived in a nation, local.(Monchalin, 2016) It is very important to know about our history because our history and our ancestors is a mirror to us.

They are the only reason we have a name and a history. History is important because it tells us about our culture, language and our ancient things such as religion, art, etc. While exploring my ancestors, I was very excited because I came to know so many things about my family and blood. I came to know that my ancestors fought for their land at many times and they definitely lived a harder life than me. This gave me confidence ,courage and also a lesson that never forget your ancestors, culture and also the culture and language of the people on whose land you’re living on.


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  2. Gurdaspur. (n.d.). Retrieved November 6, 2019, from
  3. World War 1 - The Anzacs and the Sikhs. (n.d.). Retrieved November 6, 2019, from
  4. Mir, F. (2010). The social space of language: Vernacular culture in british colonial punjab (1st;1; ed.). Berkeley: University of California Press. doi:10.1525/j.ctt1pns3g
  5. Punjabi Page, Punjabi Language, History of Punjabi language. (n.d.). Retrieved
  6. November 6, 2019, from
  7. History of the Punjabi Language. (n.d.). Retrieved November 6, 2019, from
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  9. Smith, L. T. (2012). Decolonizing methodologies: Research and indigenous peoples (2nd ed.). London;New York;: Zed Books.
  10. Monchalin, L. (2016). The colonial problem : An indigenous perspective on crime and injustice in canada. Retrieved from
  11. Sikh soldiers' role in first world war celebrated. (2014, ). Leicester Mercury
  12. Macdougall, K. (2015, ). Fixing first nations education. Leader Post
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Land And Language. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 22, 2024, from
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