With Haryana having declared Punjabi the second language of the state, Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda is himself learning the neighbouring state's language.
Hooda, who was speaking in Punjabi, Sunday said he was now trying to learn how to read and write this 'wonderful language which is spoken not only within India, but also in several other countries from Pakistan to Canada'.
Addressing a gathering organised by the Haryana Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee at Pipli near Kurukshetra, 110 km from here, to honour him for declaring Punjabi the second language of Haryana, Hooda said Punjabi had an important place as a language in the country.
The second language status of Punjabi in Haryana means that people can communicate with the government and its agencies in that language. It will also be taught in educational institutions across the state.
People in several areas in Haryana, especially those bordering Punjab, speak Punjabi language.
Haryana itself was carved out as a separate state from the unified Punjab November 1, 1966.
Hooda said the state government has already enhanced the budget and prizes given by the Punjabi Sahitya Akademi to promote thatlanguage.
He declared that the Punjabi language would be given due regard in the state and hoped that other states would exemplify Haryana's efforts to honour Punjabi language.
Hooda said the Punjabi had its origin in the state of Haryana from Panipat. ' 'Dama Dam Mast Kalander' is credited with the origin and popularity of the Punjabi language, which was formulated in Panipat on 1142,' Hooda disclosed.
'The first poet of Punjabi, Baba Farid, was from Hansi, which is a town of Haryana,' Hooda added.
Emphasing the need for people to promote Punjabi, the chief minister assured them that a Punjabi teacher would be provided wherever there were 10 students intending to study the Punjabi language in institutions in Haryana.