Historic Moment in NHL as Canadian Anthem Rendered in Punjabi at Jets vs Avalanche Game

Rozana Spokesman  | Amanat Thaper

Punjabi Diaspora

Unique initiative was part of the Jets' celebration of South Asian Heritage Night

Canadian Anthem in Punjabi News

Canadian Anthem in Punjabi News: In a groundbreaking move, the National Hockey League (NHL) marked a historic moment on Saturday as the Winnipeg Jets presented a mesmerizing rendition of O' Canada in Punjabi ahead of their clash against the Colorado Avalanche. The unique initiative was part of the Jets' celebration of South Asian Heritage Night, held at the Canada Life Centre.

The Punjabi rendition of the Canadian national anthem was skillfully performed by students from Amber Trails School, ranging from kindergarten to grade 8, making it a remarkable first in the league's history. Notably, Amber Trails School is also the first institution in Manitoba to introduce a bilingual English-Punjabi program.

NHL enthusiasts flooded social media platforms, including X (formerly Twitter), with diverse reactions to this cultural milestone. The overwhelming response was one of appreciation and joy, with fans expressing their delight at the celebration of diversity.

This isn't the first instance of the Winnipeg Jets using O' Canada to pay homage to different cultures. In 2020, the team honored Indigenous peoples' heritage by presenting the Canadian national anthem in the Ojibway language, performed by a children's choir. Furthermore, in 2022, an alternate version of O' Canada was showcased in Edmonton, celebrating Ukrainian heritage and expressing solidarity with the nation amid the conflict with Russia.

Hockey's popularity among Punjabi-speaking Canadians has been acknowledged by the NHL, evident in the introduction of Hockey Night in Canada in Punjabi. The coverage features play-by-play commentators and analysts communicating in Punjabi, resonating with the vibrant Punjabi-speaking community in the country. According to Stats Canada, Punjabi is the fourth-most spoken language in Canada, with over 500,000 people using it as their primary language. 

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