Finish the Thought

Gurdeep Pandher is a bhangra dance instructor from the Punjab, living in Yukon. With COVID-19, he’s become an internet sensation.

I don’t know the man but his on-screen presence is relentlessly cheery, upbeat, patient, and encouraging.

He dances to traditional bhangra music in unusual locations and to music from other traditions (and here) to show an underlying harmony.

He dances, he says, to send positive thoughts out into the world and to encourage people to be happy.

“It was created by Sikh farmers a long time ago,” Pandher told Black Press. “So this dance has a lot of connection with the land because it was created on land, it’s also known as the ‘Happy Dance.’ I was born into this culture, so I’m glad to share joy through this dance.”

With his skills in dancing and teaching, both honed by decades of practice, Gurdeep makes a unique contribution. But anyone can play, even if they can’t dance. It reminds me of those tests where we had to complete a sentence: in English in Grade 2, and in French in Grade 8.

I was born into *this* culture,
so I’m glad to share joy through . . . .

The good news? On this test, any good-faith answer gets full marks.

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6 Responses to Finish the Thought

  1. Tom Watson says:

    Very interesting. I hadn’t been aware of Gurdeep Pandher or the bhangra dance.
    Tom

  2. So, Charles M. Schulz must have known about the bhangra dance to give Snoopy his lavish terpsichorean spins? It appears to be individualistic and improvisational, too. And perhaps not for octogenarians who haven’t grown old doing it?

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Laurna – Maybe all human joy actualizes in jumping? :-)nI believe that there are set pieces in bhangra, where entire groups are following the same choreography. In that way, it resembles other, less effortful, folk dancing I’ve seen.

  3. John Whitman says:

    Isabel – there are a lot of interesting You Tube videos of Gurdeep doing his dances in the areas around Dawson City and on the Dempster Highway.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      John – 🙂 Yes, he’s danced pretty much everywhere (I expect he’s seen more of Canada than most other Canadians) and has some great video work.

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