WHAT IS BHANGRA?
Bhangra is a beautiful form of expression, a celebration of life, performed with overwhelming and infectious energy. Though the existence of Bhangra may precede historical records, it can be traced as far back as 500 years, originating in the fertile region of Punjab, India, also known as the land of five waters (rivers). Punjab spans over the Northwestern region of the Indian Subcontinent, spread amongst Indian states of Punjab, Jammu, Kashmir, Himachal, Hariyana and Pakistani Punjab. While working in the fields of this fertile land farmers gave birth to Bhangra while the women created Giddha, Bhangra’s counterpart.
The basic movements of Bhangra relate to farming activities like ploughing, sowing and harvesting. Traditionally performed to celebrate the harvest, Bhangra reflected the enthusiasm and appreciation shared among rural folk as they witnessed their hard labor bear fruit. The main instrument played during Bhangra is a barrel size drum called the dhol accompanied with a single string instrument called the tumbi. Bhangra is truly one of the most joyous and celebratory forms of dancing, typically performed at festive occasions and celebrations by all generations alike.
Bhangra music is well known in the UK as that’s where a large population of Punjabi’s migrated. Over the last 10 to 15 years, it has gained more recognition in North America, as up and coming dj’s and producers have started playing this sound to a wider audience. Now Bhangra has become a synergistic blend of its traditional origins and contemporary musical styles ranging from Reggae, Hip-Hop, to Drum N Bass. Bhangra continues to reach the masses, emerging as a popular global sound.