Bhangra is our common link?

The SJ Mercury News ran a story on Dhol Di Awaz [disclaimer: I went to Cal and was part of the Berk SSA] and made the argument that in today’s multi-generational diaspoa, bhangra is the common thread that holds Punjabis together. I thought this was interesting on many levels. While the article is relatively well-written and sensitive, there were no excerpts from conversations with non-Sikh Punjabis, and certainly not with Pakistani Punjabis.

bhangra.jpgThis divide over who has a “right” to bhangra has certainly been a source of tension in the DDA-verse in the past — while many embrace bhangra as a Punjabi dance that can be shared by all across religions (and even regions), while others argue that some of the uniform elements of the dance (e.g. the phugri) require a Sikh focus. In the Bay Area, where Punjabis are somewhat divided along religious lines by neighborhoods, are we being truly honest with ourselves re: tolerance and inclusivity? Along those lines, is bhangra tying together generations of Sikh Punjabis from Indian Punjab, or is it tying together ALL Punjabis? I would argue that bhangra (and giddha), which is, in its purest essence, a dance of joy and celebration, belongs to everyone. It doesn’t see religion or region, and it also doesn’t see a “backdated” interpretation of “traditional” uniforms. This made me reflect on a question I often ask myself — where does the Punjabi begin/end and the Sikh begin?

Oftentimes our Sikh and Punjabi identities are at odds with one another, and other times they are so intertwined that it is hard to untangle the cultural from the religious. For example, while DDA serves as a fundraiser that allows the Berkeley SSA to conduct great community programs, when someone advertised the afterparty as “official” (it was not official and was not endorsed by the organization) a few years ago, the question of sharaab [alcohol] was not at odds with bhangra, but was certainly at odds with Sikhi.

What do you think, readership? Has our sense of who is Punjabi shifted with the shifting borders of our parents’ homelands, or are subsequent generations building a community identity, again, in the diaspora? Or, because of our relatively large numbers in California, our lack of non-religious community spaces (i.e., the gurdwara is, for many, the only site of community gathering), are we simply given more of an opportunity to remain in our own enclaves?

Dhol di Awaz X is this Saturday, February 2nd at the Flint Center in Cupertino, CA. Tix are $20 in advance, $21 at the door.


bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark
tabs-top


50 Responses to “Bhangra is our common link?”

  1. ItsMe says:

    To be a complete ass Bhangra and Giddah is for Punjabi's with boliyan and theme's centralizing around life in Punjab or Punjabi traditions and culture. You can Hindu, Sikh or Muslim and still be Punjabi. Doubt that lends well to the writers article but oh well.

  2. ItsMe says:

    To be a complete ass Bhangra and Giddah is for Punjabi’s with boliyan and theme’s centralizing around life in Punjab or Punjabi traditions and culture. You can Hindu, Sikh or Muslim and still be Punjabi. Doubt that lends well to the writers article but oh well.

  3. Singh says:

    camille, interesting perspectives here – i have never thought of bhangra along religious lines at all, but strictly regional/cultural lines rather. in talking about attire for instance, another aspects of bhagra, the chadra, seems to be a regional exhibition – in the northernmost region of majha (adjacent the pakistan border) men still wear chaadre. also, although bhangra really gained its notoriety recently (and therefore necessarily post-partition) the dance is old and existed pre-partition in a very integrated punjab, where people of all three religions farmed and celebrated side by side/together. this is neither here nor there, but i think its an interesting perspective…

    in terms of a sense of who is and is not punjabi – i think that the punjab region of india has definitely established somewhat of a monopoly on the label. while punjab spans into a large area of pakistan, we rarely think of pakistan when we think punjabi – at least in my experience, people dont usually mean pakistan when they say punjabi. so i think that the <del datetime="2008-02-01T17:26:54+00:00">shifting of</del> creation of borders has had a major impact on ethno-regional identity.

  4. Singh says:

    camille, interesting perspectives here – i have never thought of bhangra along religious lines at all, but strictly regional/cultural lines rather. in talking about attire for instance, another aspects of bhagra, the chadra, seems to be a regional exhibition – in the northernmost region of majha (adjacent the pakistan border) men still wear chaadre. also, although bhangra really gained its notoriety recently (and therefore necessarily post-partition) the dance is old and existed pre-partition in a very integrated punjab, where people of all three religions farmed and celebrated side by side/together. this is neither here nor there, but i think its an interesting perspective…

    in terms of a sense of who is and is not punjabi – i think that the punjab region of india has definitely established somewhat of a monopoly on the label. while punjab spans into a large area of pakistan, we rarely think of pakistan when we think punjabi – at least in my experience, people dont usually mean pakistan when they say punjabi. so i think that the shifting of creation of borders has had a major impact on ethno-regional identity.

  5. Dance2Bhangra says:

    I feel that Bhangra music can be appreciated by all Indians around the world, not just Punjabi's. You have your Bollywood yet the main form of music out of India which you can really dance to and have a great time with is Bhangra Music. There is just something about the hard hitting dhol, the splended tumbi and the raw and amazing singers fused with meaningful lyrics (not all the time) of Bhagra music. This is a great article and it highlights many points. I would like to thank this site and other leading bhangra based websites like Chakdey.com, Punjab2000.com and UKBhangra.com for their wide Bhangra related news and media.

  6. Dance2Bhangra says:

    I feel that Bhangra music can be appreciated by all Indians around the world, not just Punjabi’s. You have your Bollywood yet the main form of music out of India which you can really dance to and have a great time with is Bhangra Music. There is just something about the hard hitting dhol, the splended tumbi and the raw and amazing singers fused with meaningful lyrics (not all the time) of Bhagra music. This is a great article and it highlights many points. I would like to thank this site and other leading bhangra based websites like Chakdey.com, Punjab2000.com and UKBhangra.com for their wide Bhangra related news and media.

  7. P.Singh says:

    Camille,

    Interesting topic. I think there probably has been a shift in ideas of 'Punjabiyat' to accompany the shift in borders. Re bhangra, when was the last time anyone saw Pakistani Punjibis perform traditional bhangra? I also wonder how much influence the surrounding culture(s) have on Pakistani Punjabis in this regard?

    For instance, I had a Pathan friend who loved dancing to bhangra here in Canada, but in Pakistan he didn't dance at all. According to him, in Pathan culture, men don't dance – it's considered a feminine activity – the province of women and homosexuals.

    To answer one of your questions, I am not sure how much of a uniting force bhangra is becoming, but it certainly seems more inclined to unite Sikhs than Punjabis in general.

  8. P.Singh says:

    Camille,

    Interesting topic. I think there probably has been a shift in ideas of ‘Punjabiyat’ to accompany the shift in borders. Re bhangra, when was the last time anyone saw Pakistani Punjibis perform traditional bhangra? I also wonder how much influence the surrounding culture(s) have on Pakistani Punjabis in this regard?

    For instance, I had a Pathan friend who loved dancing to bhangra here in Canada, but in Pakistan he didn’t dance at all. According to him, in Pathan culture, men don’t dance – it’s considered a feminine activity – the province of women and homosexuals.

    To answer one of your questions, I am not sure how much of a uniting force bhangra is becoming, but it certainly seems more inclined to unite Sikhs than Punjabis in general.

  9. jothy singh says:

    I think Bhangra cannot be separated from religion as two main artifacts ( the pug and kanda) are part of the costume used while dancing. However, on a deeper level gurbani states, " nanchan man ka chouw" meaning dancing is unnesisary and your mind playing tricks on you. While listening to Bhangra music it usually talks about secular things like relationships, women, sex, etc. Gurbani states, " Mere mohan srevani eh nah sunai sakat geet nad tud gavat bolat bolat ajai". Which means, " Please my lord bless me by not making me have to hear worldly songs,were their singing is non-secular.

    Moreover, Gurbani condems non-secular music and dance. I think if your a strict contructionist you follow gurbani but if your a loose constructionist you do bhangra with a pug and kanda on. Anyway, I guess atleast all the non-sikh bhangra singers learn how to tie a turban.

    Jothy.

  10. jothy singh says:

    I think Bhangra cannot be separated from religion as two main artifacts ( the pug and kanda) are part of the costume used while dancing. However, on a deeper level gurbani states, ” nanchan man ka chouw” meaning dancing is unnesisary and your mind playing tricks on you. While listening to Bhangra music it usually talks about secular things like relationships, women, sex, etc. Gurbani states, ” Mere mohan srevani eh nah sunai sakat geet nad tud gavat bolat bolat ajai”. Which means, ” Please my lord bless me by not making me have to hear worldly songs,were their singing is non-secular.

    Moreover, Gurbani condems non-secular music and dance. I think if your a strict contructionist you follow gurbani but if your a loose constructionist you do bhangra with a pug and kanda on. Anyway, I guess atleast all the non-sikh bhangra singers learn how to tie a turban.
    Jothy.

  11. Baldev Singh says:

    I think all of these SSA's, Jakara, other groups that host bhangra, and have after parties, are a complete abomination of the ideals of a Sikh society and should be sued by the SGPC for using the word "Sikh" in any of their events.

  12. Baldev Singh says:

    I think all of these SSA’s, Jakara, other groups that host bhangra, and have after parties, are a complete abomination of the ideals of a Sikh society and should be sued by the SGPC for using the word “Sikh” in any of their events.

  13. Camille says:

    Jothy, is your argument, then, that all "secular" activities, however defined, are intrinsically out of line with a Sikh lifestyle? How does this conform with the expectation that a Sikh will not wholly disengage from their world?

    Baldev Singh, is it the bhangra or the party that bothers you? This was certainly an argument within the UCB SSA (although, as I stated before, the group does NOT host parties, particularly not afterparties). Should they be "sued" for using the word "Sikh" when they host a panel event on religious/ethnic identity and torture? During know your rights presentations? Sensitivity trainings? Mentorship events?

  14. Camille says:

    Jothy, is your argument, then, that all “secular” activities, however defined, are intrinsically out of line with a Sikh lifestyle? How does this conform with the expectation that a Sikh will not wholly disengage from their world?

    Baldev Singh, is it the bhangra or the party that bothers you? This was certainly an argument within the UCB SSA (although, as I stated before, the group does NOT host parties, particularly not afterparties). Should they be “sued” for using the word “Sikh” when they host a panel event on religious/ethnic identity and torture? During know your rights presentations? Sensitivity trainings? Mentorship events?

  15. Kaur says:

    Jothy,

    I understand what you are saying, as I've heard this argument countless times before. However, I completely disagree with the context of the translation and your use of it. I think if you look at that shabad in its entirety, the meaning changes and highlights not the physical action of dancing itself, rather it is a metaphorical spiritual reference.

    This is often seen in gurbani, and if we were to take every time 'dance' or 'nach' or a variation of the sort was used in gurbani we would have to take them all within the same narrow context you are evaluating this shabad with. There are many times dance is used to describe emotion, and any 'random' shabad can be used for this purpose (i.e. ehaa bhagath eho thap thaao, eith rang nachahu rakh rakh pao- This is devotional worship, and this is the practice of penance. So dance in this love, and keep the beat with your feet.)

    At the risk of this thread becoming a debate on analyzing gurbani, I would like to highlight my main point: that context, meter, and tone are all heavy influences on gurbani, and definitely subject to various interpretations. I am not trying to claim myself as a scholar within gurbani in any way (as I definitely am not), I am merely pointing out that the basis of your argument is internally flawed. Because of the ambiguous nature of gurbani I don't think it is fair to make the statement that “…if you dance you do not follow gurbani.”

    Also, I don't think it is appropriate to associate the khanda as part of an official bhangra costume. Yes, this is seen SOMETIMES within cultural events, however this does not make it a permanent part of every bhangra costume. So that statement "Bhangra cannot be separated from religion as two main artifacts ( the pug and kanda) are part of the costume used while dancing" is inherently flawed and false.

    Baldev-

    First of all, the concept of the SGPC suing a Sikh Student Association or any other student run Sikh affiliated association (you mentioned Jakara) is ridiculous and feels as if it was purposely intended to create an argument on this forum. I have half a mind to not even acknowledge this pathetic singular statement. Most of these student run Sikh organizations are trying to create a place for themselves on campus or in the community to enable a positive atmosphere. For you to just dismiss all the other hard work (as Camille mentioned, mentoring, trainings, etc) is just immature and judgmental.

    While discussing this concept of the mixture of religion and culture (usually mistakenly used to be synonymous with 'bhangra') I believe that we have a tendency to forget one important thing: we are all human, and we do not walk around separating ourselves between the many things we identify and relate ourselves to in order to appease one statement. This can be gender, religion, political affiliation, family, etc all of which make us individuals.

    Yes student run organizations like the ones mentioned have A LOT of work to do, but honestly all of that will take time and collaboration from all of us. Let’s not forget that it is organizations like these that plant the seeds for community involvement and hopefully social activism in the future…

  16. Kaur says:

    Jothy,
    I understand what you are saying, as I’ve heard this argument countless times before. However, I completely disagree with the context of the translation and your use of it. I think if you look at that shabad in its entirety, the meaning changes and highlights not the physical action of dancing itself, rather it is a metaphorical spiritual reference.

    This is often seen in gurbani, and if we were to take every time ‘dance’ or ‘nach’ or a variation of the sort was used in gurbani we would have to take them all within the same narrow context you are evaluating this shabad with. There are many times dance is used to describe emotion, and any ‘random’ shabad can be used for this purpose (i.e. ehaa bhagath eho thap thaao, eith rang nachahu rakh rakh pao- This is devotional worship, and this is the practice of penance. So dance in this love, and keep the beat with your feet.)

    At the risk of this thread becoming a debate on analyzing gurbani, I would like to highlight my main point: that context, meter, and tone are all heavy influences on gurbani, and definitely subject to various interpretations. I am not trying to claim myself as a scholar within gurbani in any way (as I definitely am not), I am merely pointing out that the basis of your argument is internally flawed. Because of the ambiguous nature of gurbani I don’t think it is fair to make the statement that if you dance you do not follow gurbani.

    Also, I don’t think it is appropriate to associate the khanda as part of an official bhangra costume. Yes, this is seen SOMETIMES within cultural events, however this does not make it a permanent part of every bhangra costume. So that statement “Bhangra cannot be separated from religion as two main artifacts ( the pug and kanda) are part of the costume used while dancing” is inherently flawed and false.

    Baldev-
    First of all, the concept of the SGPC suing a Sikh Student Association or any other student run Sikh affiliated association (you mentioned Jakara) is ridiculous and feels as if it was purposely intended to create an argument on this forum. I have half a mind to not even acknowledge this pathetic singular statement. Most of these student run Sikh organizations are trying to create a place for themselves on campus or in the community to enable a positive atmosphere. For you to just dismiss all the other hard work (as Camille mentioned, mentoring, trainings, etc) is just immature and judgmental.

    While discussing this concept of the mixture of religion and culture (usually mistakenly used to be synonymous with ‘bhangra’) I believe that we have a tendency to forget one important thing: we are all human, and we do not walk around separating ourselves between the many things we identify and relate ourselves to in order to appease one statement. This can be gender, religion, political affiliation, family, etc all of which make us individuals.

    Yes student run organizations like the ones mentioned have A LOT of work to do, but honestly all of that will take time and collaboration from all of us. Lets not forget that it is organizations like these that plant the seeds for community involvement and hopefully social activism in the future…

  17. JSD says:

    I think that by "banning" bhangra from Sikhi you are only making yourself sound like some crazy fundamentalist. As for Baldev Singh have you been to Jakara? The attempt is to bring everyone together, whether they be religous, non religious, male, female, mona, sardar…the point is that it is a place for everyone and bhangra and punjabi culture helps us bring eachother closer and what is wrong with doing a simple get together/ party. There is no alcohol served, there is no hip hop, there is punjabi music, guys dressed up and girls in suits. And other than that it spends the rest of the time discussing important issues involving Sikhism. As in regards for SSA I am head of my respective schools SSA and we do not throw parties at all. SSA's goal is to spread the Punjabi culture and Sikh religion. We incorporate both culture and religion. Of course Punjabi culture is not limited to Sikhs but the Sikhs have taken a stronghold on the culture as we as Punjabi Sikhs learn Punjabi and understand it. Pakistani Punjabis also have this close tie with Punjabi music and culture, perhaps a stronger one than India's since Pakistans music is not sabotaged by Indian media and ultra Hindu ideals. The pint is that Jakara and SSA do a huge part in promoting Sikh and Punjabi heritage/culture, rather than hating on it, come out and help to make the changes you may feel are necessary.

  18. JSD says:

    I think that by “banning” bhangra from Sikhi you are only making yourself sound like some crazy fundamentalist. As for Baldev Singh have you been to Jakara? The attempt is to bring everyone together, whether they be religous, non religious, male, female, mona, sardar…the point is that it is a place for everyone and bhangra and punjabi culture helps us bring eachother closer and what is wrong with doing a simple get together/ party. There is no alcohol served, there is no hip hop, there is punjabi music, guys dressed up and girls in suits. And other than that it spends the rest of the time discussing important issues involving Sikhism. As in regards for SSA I am head of my respective schools SSA and we do not throw parties at all. SSA’s goal is to spread the Punjabi culture and Sikh religion. We incorporate both culture and religion. Of course Punjabi culture is not limited to Sikhs but the Sikhs have taken a stronghold on the culture as we as Punjabi Sikhs learn Punjabi and understand it. Pakistani Punjabis also have this close tie with Punjabi music and culture, perhaps a stronger one than India’s since Pakistans music is not sabotaged by Indian media and ultra Hindu ideals. The pint is that Jakara and SSA do a huge part in promoting Sikh and Punjabi heritage/culture, rather than hating on it, come out and help to make the changes you may feel are necessary.

  19. Guys, let's focus on the real issue here: why wasn't Khalsa Junction at DDA this year?

  20. Guys, let’s focus on the real issue here: why wasn’t Khalsa Junction at DDA this year?

  21. Camille says:

    we are all human, and we do not walk around separating ourselves between the many things we identify and relate ourselves to in order to appease one statement. This can be gender, religion, political affiliation, family, etc all of which make us individuals.

    Kaur, thanks very much for your eloquent post. I wanted to highlight this section because it gets at a question I often ask myself — we don't walk around as compartmentalized selves. That is, I don't decide "right now I am a woman, wait, no, now I'm a woman of color, now I'm the child of immigrants, oh, but now I'm a Sikh." We carry all these identities simultaneously, which is probably why it's hard to parse these back apart. I personally don't think there's anything intrinsically wrong with bhangra, just as I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with hip hop. Do some of the songs suck or are they about topics I find repulsive/uncouth? Yes. But there's also excellent poetry and joy in bhangra, and I like that that feeling of (transcendent) happiness resonates not only among Punjabis of all places and religions, but also among desis.

    I forgot to mention that the Berkeley SSA's mission is to expand knowledge about, and understanding around, Sikhi in its community. For many young Sikhs, this is where they first begin to extensively explore their faith and seek out the "hard answers" to questions they didn't receive as children (e.g., why do we mutha tek?).

  22. Camille says:

    we are all human, and we do not walk around separating ourselves between the many things we identify and relate ourselves to in order to appease one statement. This can be gender, religion, political affiliation, family, etc all of which make us individuals.

    Kaur, thanks very much for your eloquent post. I wanted to highlight this section because it gets at a question I often ask myself — we don’t walk around as compartmentalized selves. That is, I don’t decide “right now I am a woman, wait, no, now I’m a woman of color, now I’m the child of immigrants, oh, but now I’m a Sikh.” We carry all these identities simultaneously, which is probably why it’s hard to parse these back apart. I personally don’t think there’s anything intrinsically wrong with bhangra, just as I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with hip hop. Do some of the songs suck or are they about topics I find repulsive/uncouth? Yes. But there’s also excellent poetry and joy in bhangra, and I like that that feeling of (transcendent) happiness resonates not only among Punjabis of all places and religions, but also among desis.

    I forgot to mention that the Berkeley SSA’s mission is to expand knowledge about, and understanding around, Sikhi in its community. For many young Sikhs, this is where they first begin to extensively explore their faith and seek out the “hard answers” to questions they didn’t receive as children (e.g., why do we mutha tek?).

  23. Baldev Singh says:

    I do not think it is ridiculous for our community to defend the use of the term Sikh or the Guru's names, etc. People misuse these names and have no idea of what they are representing.

    The 3HO cult has its own array of special titles for its officials, which are not approved or recognized by the whole Sikh community. Then they call themselves Sikh Dharma of the Western Hemisphere, meaning we are part of them, even though we are not in their cult.

    Then people have like Sikh groups that do bhangra – if you are going to have bhangra functions, do it under the name of a Punjabi group, not a Sikh group. And then we have so-called Sikhs who are drinking or trimming their hair but still want to be publically called Sikhs.

    The definition of Sikh is in the writings of the Guru's and we should defend it – this is not about control or limits or fanaticism. It is about the preservation of the Sikh identity.

  24. Baldev Singh says:

    I do not think it is ridiculous for our community to defend the use of the term Sikh or the Guru’s names, etc. People misuse these names and have no idea of what they are representing.

    The 3HO cult has its own array of special titles for its officials, which are not approved or recognized by the whole Sikh community. Then they call themselves Sikh Dharma of the Western Hemisphere, meaning we are part of them, even though we are not in their cult.

    Then people have like Sikh groups that do bhangra – if you are going to have bhangra functions, do it under the name of a Punjabi group, not a Sikh group. And then we have so-called Sikhs who are drinking or trimming their hair but still want to be publically called Sikhs.

    The definition of Sikh is in the writings of the Guru’s and we should defend it – this is not about control or limits or fanaticism. It is about the preservation of the Sikh identity.

  25. confused lurker says:

    Pakistani Punjabis also have this close tie with Punjabi music and culture, perhaps a stronger one than India’s since Pakistans music is not sabotaged by Indian media and ultra Hindu ideals.

    What do you mean by this? And maybe you could think of a better way to phrase it too? Because it's kind of offensive right now.

  26. confused lurker says:

    Pakistani Punjabis also have this close tie with Punjabi music and culture, perhaps a stronger one than Indias since Pakistans music is not sabotaged by Indian media and ultra Hindu ideals.

    What do you mean by this? And maybe you could think of a better way to phrase it too? Because it’s kind of offensive right now.

  27. JSD says:

    offensive? whats offensive? Pakistani Muslim Punjabis share everything with their Sikh brothers. The music industry which is run by these dirty directors just shows a bunch of guys with mushroom cuts and horrible clothing jumping around behind a guy with a pagh. they attempt to create a "pollywood" a punjabi cultural stronghold that only promotes music and makes videos that have nothing to do with Punjab and is comparable to whack Bollywood. Theres nothing to be offended by…offended the lagda.

  28. JSD says:

    offensive? whats offensive? Pakistani Muslim Punjabis share everything with their Sikh brothers. The music industry which is run by these dirty directors just shows a bunch of guys with mushroom cuts and horrible clothing jumping around behind a guy with a pagh. they attempt to create a “pollywood” a punjabi cultural stronghold that only promotes music and makes videos that have nothing to do with Punjab and is comparable to whack Bollywood. Theres nothing to be offended by…offended the lagda.

  29. JSD says:

    In details about Pakistani Punjabis. Their songs still reflect zameendari, and punjabi culture, (jatt culture/heritage) they still do bhangra, bhangra you would see in the 1950's…original O.G stuff. and many Pakistani Punjabi's..specifically Jatts still wear paghs in the villages…their religion is different but hey…Punjab the koi vi paasa hovay its still Punjab. Without Pakistani Punjab we dont even HAVE 5 rivers. Malwa Majha Doaba…naale Lahore da

  30. JSD says:

    In details about Pakistani Punjabis. Their songs still reflect zameendari, and punjabi culture, (jatt culture/heritage) they still do bhangra, bhangra you would see in the 1950’s…original O.G stuff. and many Pakistani Punjabi’s..specifically Jatts still wear paghs in the villages…their religion is different but hey…Punjab the koi vi paasa hovay its still Punjab. Without Pakistani Punjab we dont even HAVE 5 rivers. Malwa Majha Doaba…naale Lahore da

  31. JSD – Hindu Punjabis don't "share everything with their Sikh brothers?"

  32. JSD – Hindu Punjabis don’t “share everything with their Sikh brothers?”

  33. JSD says:

    I didn't say that, im just talking about the old school stuff. Everyone starts hating Pakistanis im just defending them, its like my hobby =) But in all honesty, when it comes to Punjab and Bhangra IN punjab (East Punjab) its a stronghold by Sikh Punjabis. Everyone needs to calm down and let Bhangra be Bhangra there is nothing wrong with it and it is the one thing that all youth do listen to. Punjabi Music is influential and it is up to us to give the good songs a pat on the back so more can be produced.

  34. JSD says:

    I didn’t say that, im just talking about the old school stuff. Everyone starts hating Pakistanis im just defending them, its like my hobby =) But in all honesty, when it comes to Punjab and Bhangra IN punjab (East Punjab) its a stronghold by Sikh Punjabis. Everyone needs to calm down and let Bhangra be Bhangra there is nothing wrong with it and it is the one thing that all youth do listen to. Punjabi Music is influential and it is up to us to give the good songs a pat on the back so more can be produced.

  35. I'm well aware that you did not say that, but please answer my question nonetheless: do Hindu Punjabis enjoy the same relationships with Sikhs as Pakistani Punjabis, as you claim? Or do Hindu songs not reflect "zameendari, and punjabi culture, (jatt culture/heritage) they still do bhangra, bhangra you would see in the 1950’s…original O.G stuff."?

    I'm asking you to clarify, because as confused lurker alluded to, your original comment smacks of an implicit anti-Hindu bias.

  36. I’m well aware that you did not say that, but please answer my question nonetheless: do Hindu Punjabis enjoy the same relationships with Sikhs as Pakistani Punjabis, as you claim? Or do Hindu songs not reflect “zameendari, and punjabi culture, (jatt culture/heritage) they still do bhangra, bhangra you would see in the 1950soriginal O.G stuff.”?

    I’m asking you to clarify, because as confused lurker alluded to, your original comment smacks of an implicit anti-Hindu bias.

  37. JSD says:

    sure why not. im going to sleep

  38. JSD says:

    sure why not. im going to sleep

  39. […] may not connect with other’s hopes or even other comments made by fellow Langar-ite bloggers, but it does seem to be a reality on the ground. Why do most Hindus or Muslims not even claim this […]

  40. Anonymous says:

    This is quite plain and simple.

    Bhangra has been alive BEFORE THE ADVENT OF SIKHISM.

    Therefore it is independent and unrelated to ANY RELIGION.

    Panjabi music and culture has been far more integrated into Pakistani society(Including the Non-Punjabi society)in comparison to the Indian society. Panjabi music in India has been limited to primarily bhangra and other related forms. Panjabi music in Pakistan has taken the form of bhangra and its related forms, qawwali,pop, and rock. People never hear about it and Pakistani Panjabis don't tend to be 'in your face' about their ethnic background in comparison to much of the Indian Punjabi youth. Therefore you really wouldn't know unless you looked into it yourself.

    At the end of the day it is quite a false advertisement and abomination to the Sikh faith when you attempt to associate the Khanda and Sikhism with a culture that is NOT part of the Sikh Faith.

    And remember this. Without Pakistan, the Indian Panjab would be be 'Panj'ab. I believe it would be 'Do'jab.

    At the end of the day educate yourself about your faith(if you have one) and your culture. That way you won't look like an idiot who doesn't know the difference between the two.

  41. Anonymous says:

    This is quite plain and simple.

    Bhangra has been alive BEFORE THE ADVENT OF SIKHISM.

    Therefore it is independent and unrelated to ANY RELIGION.

    Panjabi music and culture has been far more integrated into Pakistani society(Including the Non-Punjabi society)in comparison to the Indian society. Panjabi music in India has been limited to primarily bhangra and other related forms. Panjabi music in Pakistan has taken the form of bhangra and its related forms, qawwali,pop, and rock. People never hear about it and Pakistani Panjabis don’t tend to be ‘in your face’ about their ethnic background in comparison to much of the Indian Punjabi youth. Therefore you really wouldn’t know unless you looked into it yourself.

    At the end of the day it is quite a false advertisement and abomination to the Sikh faith when you attempt to associate the Khanda and Sikhism with a culture that is NOT part of the Sikh Faith.

    And remember this. Without Pakistan, the Indian Panjab would be be ‘Panj’ab. I believe it would be ‘Do’jab.

    At the end of the day educate yourself about your faith(if you have one) and your culture. That way you won’t look like an idiot who doesn’t know the difference between the two.

  42. Doab says:

    If you look more closely at disaporic practices today, you'll find that that the nexus between culture and religion is more complicated than you're arguing.

    Similarly, if East Punjab is so close to its Punjabi roots, why aren't the folk dances reflected in the common imaginary? Why is Punjabi denounced in the Pakistani diaspora? Why is the North American bhangra circuit dominated by Sikhs, with a minimal Pakistani presence? Perhaps they are undergoing a process of 'de-Punjabifying?'

    I am intending to make no claims here but instead am proposing that you do some self-reflection before denouncing the ruminations of another person.

  43. Doab says:

    If you look more closely at disaporic practices today, you’ll find that that the nexus between culture and religion is more complicated than you’re arguing.

    Similarly, if East Punjab is so close to its Punjabi roots, why aren’t the folk dances reflected in the common imaginary? Why is Punjabi denounced in the Pakistani diaspora? Why is the North American bhangra circuit dominated by Sikhs, with a minimal Pakistani presence? Perhaps they are undergoing a process of ‘de-Punjabifying?’

    I am intending to make no claims here but instead am proposing that you do some self-reflection before denouncing the ruminations of another person.

  44. Harinder says:

    DHARAMA.

    Sikhism as per me is not a religion as defined in Abhramic faith context.

    I think it is a "DHARMA" the qualities of which I shall leave to the reader to define.

    I as a child use to feel we were meant to protect the Punjabi /Indian culture.

    But overtime I feel we having guarded different cultures of Mankind at different points of space-time with whom we have fought bitter wars at different point of space-time.

    This requires that in this context we define who we are and our relationship with Bhangara , Punjabi ,Britisher ,Kashmir etc .

    Eg :-

    1) Muslims were our enemies under Mughals as they tried to destroy the Indian (Hindu) Punjabi culture under their rule.

    We saved Punjabi culture from Mughal invaders.

    We then also helped "KASHMIRI PUNDITS" who were being persecuted.

    So SIKHS and INDIAN and PUNJAB got entwined and that is how most Indians see us today in that role.

    2) British were our enemies when they invaded and destroyed our Kingdom under Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Yet we played a significant part in saving the Britisher from "NAZIS" holocaust.

    So Sikhs and British got entwined and that is how i guess Britishers see us today.

    3 ) Today when Kashmiri Mughal culture was under attack the "SIKHS" have helped the Kashmiri people by various measure appointed by the currant PM of India. Also to raise voice against Guantánamo Bay prisoners was the daughter of Indian currant PM.

    Based on above evidence I would like to infer that.

    We have helped different religions at different point of times such as the

    "THE HINDUS “THE CHRISTIANS" "THE MUSLIMS".

    JEWS also got help indirectly when we fought along with the Britishers against the Nazis.

    That is why I feel that we are not a "RELIGION" in a classical sense. For the defining property of religion is that it helps its own set of people.

    Also no such word as religion exists in Punjabi Lexicon.

    We have helped differnt myriads of Religions and Cultures at different points of space-time as

    I suggest we are the followers of "DHARMA" and not "RELIGION"

    "NANAK NAM CHADI KALA TERE BANE SARVAT THA BHALLA"

  45. Harinder says:

    DHARAMA.
    Sikhism as per me is not a religion as defined in Abhramic faith context.
    I think it is a “DHARMA” the qualities of which I shall leave to the reader to define.
    I as a child use to feel we were meant to protect the Punjabi /Indian culture.

    But overtime I feel we having guarded different cultures of Mankind at different points of space-time with whom we have fought bitter wars at different point of space-time.

    This requires that in this context we define who we are and our relationship with Bhangara , Punjabi ,Britisher ,Kashmir etc .

    Eg :-

    1) Muslims were our enemies under Mughals as they tried to destroy the Indian (Hindu) Punjabi culture under their rule.
    We saved Punjabi culture from Mughal invaders.
    We then also helped “KASHMIRI PUNDITS” who were being persecuted.
    So SIKHS and INDIAN and PUNJAB got entwined and that is how most Indians see us today in that role.

    2) British were our enemies when they invaded and destroyed our Kingdom under Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Yet we played a significant part in saving the Britisher from “NAZIS” holocaust.
    So Sikhs and British got entwined and that is how i guess Britishers see us today.

    3 ) Today when Kashmiri Mughal culture was under attack the “SIKHS” have helped the Kashmiri people by various measure appointed by the currant PM of India. Also to raise voice against Guantnamo Bay prisoners was the daughter of Indian currant PM.

    Based on above evidence I would like to infer that.

    We have helped different religions at different point of times such as the

    “THE HINDUS THE CHRISTIANS” “THE MUSLIMS”.

    JEWS also got help indirectly when we fought along with the Britishers against the Nazis.

    That is why I feel that we are not a “RELIGION” in a classical sense. For the defining property of religion is that it helps its own set of people.

    Also no such word as religion exists in Punjabi Lexicon.

    We have helped differnt myriads of Religions and Cultures at different points of space-time as

    I suggest we are the followers of “DHARMA” and not “RELIGION”

    “NANAK NAM CHADI KALA TERE BANE SARVAT THA BHALLA”

  46. Harinder says:

    This is out of fear of GOD "ALLAHA" that all cultures are to be subdued and homogenized into a monolith called

    "ISLAM"

  47. Harinder says:

    This is out of fear of GOD “ALLAHA” that all cultures are to be subdued and homogenized into a monolith called

    “ISLAM”

  48. Buy Dholki says:

    Good to know about this i dint knew that bhangra has flourished so much.