Bhangra is a traditional form of dance which originates from Punjab, a region currently extending over part of Northern India and Eastern Pakistan. Translated, the name “Punjab” means the “land of five rivers” so called because of the five rivers that flow through it. Due to this, the region has extremely good soil and is considered ideal farming land. Bhangra was initially used as a celebratory folk dance which heralded the coming of spring, or Vaisakhi, as it is known. In its purest form Bhangra is a mix of a singing accompanied by music and the beat of a single drum known as a “dhol”. The lyrics are always sung in the language of Punjabi and usually relate to social or cultural issues. These can be anything from marriage and love to money and dancing.
Bhangra dances differ from region to region but still retain their own unique identities. The term Bhangra has come to incorporate a whole host of these dance forms including Jhumar, Luddi, Giddha, Julli, Daankara, Dhamal, Saami, Kikli, and Gatka. The musical instruments used in Bhangra make the rhythm very vibrant and energetic. Other than the Dhol, the main instruments used are; Sarangi, Dafli, Tumbi or Ektar, Dholak, Chimpta and Damaru.