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Why Panjabis learn Bhangra in the west


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5 hours ago, 5aaban said:

This is just my theory (may be wrong)

There's an increasing number of Panjabis in western countries learning Bhangra professionally, making Bhangra societies in universities and holding big Bhangra competitions. Although Bhangra is a hybrid dance done by males with modern hip-hop moves, women are also seen in these competitions & performances.

Some parents in the west are encouraging their children to learn Bhangra from these academies (they're starting to open up in my city too). The reason they give for joining is Bhangra connects them with Panjabi culture and they feel "proud" seeing their children on stage. I don't think Bhangra is helping any western Panjabi stay connected with Panjabi culture. Dancing like this on public stages was frowned by Panjabi elders I knew. 

It's sad to see Panjabi culture has been reduced down to jumping on stage. And that bright rainbow uniform Bhangra dancers wear looks so silly, no Panjabi in the past dressed like that. I've met some Bhangra-doing Panjabis in the west who can't read Panjabi or speak it properly, name a Panjabi poet or tell me about Panjab's situation and history. I don't know why so many Panjabi parents hold this misconception that putting children in Bhangra classes will help them connect with culture and turn them into the next Vir SIngh or Bulleh Shah. 



We need alternatives to feed people. 

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On 2/1/2022 at 3:44 AM, dallysingh101 said:

I had a young mixed race nephew who came around one day and starting doing bhangra moves out of the blue. I said: "Where d'you learn that!"

He told me "At school." 

I said: "You should be learning maths and science over there, not this."

So they are pushing that on even nonSikh kids these days and you know how kids can easily get confused about their identity.  

We need to stop pushing and promoting this fudhu shyte in our community. It's become ubiquitous and synonymous with us now. And let's keep it real. It's not Sikh culture, it's not even Panjabi culture. It is an element of jut culture that's run amok and taken a life of its own. 

Bhangra GIFs | Tenor

We need to stop promoting it. I don’t think it’s Jat culture at this point. Been looking into Bhangra and the one shown on stages is a mix of western dance moves with the 9 traditional dances of Panjab. 

When women should participate in this “Bhangra” dance, it gets even worse. A Panjabi singer once said women shouldn’t be doing doing Bhangra and he received some backlash from members of the western Panjabi community (including boys). That bright Bhangra dress is equally atrocious and people think it’s a traditional “panjabi” dress when it’s just some stage costume dancers wear. 

We need alternatives of connecting with Panjabi culture in the west as you suggested. I think learning some Panjabi poetry would be good but don’t see mass support for it from the community compared to Bhangra. 

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Yeah, horse-riding and archery are good sports of boys. Poetry should also be promoted because we can learn new Panjabi words. Pakistani Panjabis who haven't abandoned their language for Urdu hold Panjabi Mushaira's where Panjabi poetry recitals and competitions take place. It's a better initiative than Bhangra competitions.  

I think they still have poetic symposiums back home, or they did until recently (according to a book by Khushwant Singh), and they drew crowds. 

I think for Panjabi boys, lyricism is a good idea, getting them to express complex ideas and emotions through rhymes. Increase vocab. 

Older ones should be given survival training, camping, hunting (if nonveg!), shooting, horse-riding, archery, javelin, discus, martial arts, racing, gymnastics etc. etc. I would have loved this as a kid. Plus we need to make sure no pedo nonces infiltrate, because they will try!  

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