It is possible to smile, sweat and spread joy at the same time?
Do you know Gurdeep Pandher? I first discovered him on Instagram where he posts short videos of himself (and sometimes others) performing Bhangra. Bhangra is a folk dance of Punjab that I had only seen in movies. Gurdeep lives in the Canadian territory of Yukon and is often found dancing in the snow - not exactly where you’d expect to see a Bhangra performance. Before this, I had no idea what Bhangra was, its origins, or who usually did it so I was thrilled when Atlas Obscura offered an online class on Bhangra taught by none other than Gurdeep himself! I spent 90 minutes learning about the history of the dance, the positivity that goes with it, and dancing alone in front of my webcam.
The first thing I experienced was how much exercise this type of dance is! If you really get into the moves, you could definitely use Bhangra as a great form of exercise.
Bhangra is also a “happy dance.” Gurdeep continually smiles and encourages his students to do the same. That, combined with Bhangra music, can just make you happy and want to spread positivity as Gurdeep encourages all to do. I searched on Spotify for Bhangra music and soon realized there are many different variations - from wedding music Bhangra to Bhangra that was much more electronic. I even found a playlist called Bhangra Bangers, which made me think it might be related to heavy metal, but it’s not.
The original list of 50 Things was focused on learning new things, and Bhangra definitely meets the criteria. If there was a local Bhangra exercise class, I think it is something I would try again.
PS - You know the theory that basically says you start seeing something everywhere once you are looking for it? (It’s technically called the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon, which occurs when something you recently learned about suddenly seems to appear everywhere). That’s how I feel about Bhangra. Now that I know what it is, I see people doing it everywhere - in television commercials, in fitness classes, and even as opening energizers in corporate training events! Have you seen or tried Bhangra yourself? I’d love to know!
Gurdeep Pandher of Yukon (for lessons, history, photos, and more)
Thanks so much for reading 50 Things! If you are not yet subscribed, it’s easy! Simply click the button below. Thanks!