Punjabi (sometimes spelled Panjabi) is the principal language of the Punjab regions of Pakistan and India. Punjabi is the main language of two populations: the Punjabi people of West Punjab in Pakistan and the Sikh people of East Punjab in India. Although the two peoples cannot read or write each other's language, both are able to understand one another when speaking. Punjabi is the mother tongue of over 120 million people living in India and Pakistan and is the official language of the Indian state of Punjab. In Pakistan, however, Punjabi has no official status in government or education. In formal contexts, speakers of Pakistani Punjabi generally use Urdu or English which are the nation's official languages. Punjabi culture, in similar fashion to its Bengali cousin, suffered greatly during the split between India and Pakistan that culminated in the Partition of 1947. Punjabi, however, continues to serve as an important linguistic and cultural bridge in a region that has been rife with political and religious discord.