What is Bhangra? If You Don’t Know By Now…


Bhangra is a style of folk dance and rhythm that originated in the Punjab regions of India and Pakistan. Over time, bhangra has come to represent the blend of a variety folk dances and includes a spectrum of musical beats. Driven by the dhol drum, the music of bhangra truly became a phenomenon during the 70s and 80s when the bhangra band movement was born in the United Kingdom.

Bhangra was often performed in small rural towns by young Punjabi labourers, as a way to cut through racial tensions and connect with their communities. In the Punjabi and larger South Asian diaspora, bhangra has become a means for new generations of dancers and musicians to find new ways of expressing themselves, crafting their identities, and connecting with their cultural heritage. 

For VIBC, bhangra is about bringing bhangra together with other global dance and music styles to celebrate life, love, and inclusion. Although it's not a part of the official definition, for us bhangra is a movement. A movement needed to help to build bridges across cultures and strengthen our community through shared experience.

Our 11th annual City of Bhangra Festival is set for May 28–June 6, and we’re stoked to make it our best yet! For pre-Festival announcements, follow us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/vancouverbhangra) or sign up for our monthly newsletter now! (www.vibc.org

Photo by Neelu’s Clicks. DNA Dholis, Downtown Bhangra 2014.

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