Bhangra is a uniquely happy, festive, and culturally rich form of dance. What many people don’t realise about Bhangra is that it does not only refer to pointing one finger to the sky and jumping your shoulders.

Instead, it is a collection of several forms of folk dance and music that originated from Punjab, which is a region of India and Pakistan. However, this dance quickly gained widespread popularity.

The reason for this dance spreading like fire in the west, was its widely colorful and different music, dance steps and even dresses. All of this was vastly different from what western civilisation was used to, and this is why many people immediately fell in love with this dance. Some even take things a step further by inventing their own version of this festive dance.

Where It All Began

It all started with the Punjabi farmers. In the 14th or 15th century, Punjabi farmers use to celebrate the harvest season during the festival of Vaisakhi. The dance they did was vivacious and energetic, with many open arm jumps, open body language, and cheerful smiles. This dance was dubbed Bhangra.

Bhangra quickly evolved into a dance form for all joyous occasions, especially weddings and other celebrations. The dhol is a drum-like instrument, which is vital for the Bhangra dance. When the sticks hit the film of the dhol, it produces an intoxicating sound that reflects the beats of our very own hearts. Merely listening to the dhol playing, makes a person jump up and break out their Bhangra moves.

Bhangra Is Inspirational

Arguably, there is no dance quite like the Bhangra because of its rich cultural meaning. The reason why the Bhangra dresses are so vibrant is that they reflect the joyous nature of the dance. Even the colours tell the story of their origin with yellow representing the mustard or Sarson fields, red representing saffron harvest, and the green represents prosperity. Since the Bhangra dance involves many energetic movements, the dresses need to be loose-fitting, to allow easy movement without restricting the body.

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Bhangra Is Inspirational

Arguably, there is no dance quite like the Bhangra because of its rich cultural meaning. The reason why the Bhangra dresses are so vibrant is that they reflect the joyous nature of the dance. Even the colours tell the story of their origin with yellow representing the mustard or Sarson fields, red representing saffron harvest, and the green represents prosperity. Since the Bhangra dance involves many energetic movements, the dresses need to be loose-fitting, to allow easy movement without restricting the body.

Bhangra is Influential

The inspirational dance is usually seen in Bollywood song videos and movies. However, its popularity reached international platforms when several contestants on America’s Got Talent performed various versions of Bhangra. We even see an audition where a Michael Jackson impression rocked to the beat of Bhangra. This video understandably went viral.

There are other global platforms as well, where the vibrant dance moves and colors of Bhangra worked their magic. The international influence of this festive dance brought forward new variations, which made it easy for everyone to enjoy.

The modern version of Bhangra includes a mix of western pop music. Other fusions include elements of raga, reggae, rock, hip hop, soul, and other dance music in the traditional dance form. British Bhangra took the dance a step further with the infusion of rock music, breaking the repetitive folk dance move stereotype.

Since the innovation in Bhangra started, and sometimes even before that, there have been many bands, teams, and representative parties that proudly flaunt the colorful dance moves and costumes. With such a rich background and an even brighter future, more people need to appreciate the art of Bhangra.

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