Bhangra music has played such a pivotal role in the lives of Punjabi’s who have migrated from Punjab to various places across the world. Sometimes we forget how much of an impact it has had on our lives, we have become rather blasé in our view of it.
So it was heart warming to see an opinion piece from The Jordan Newspaper (the country, not the ex model) writer Akram Al Deek, who has used Bhangra music in his article ‘How music fights colonialism and silences racism’.
The article is a great read and a link is provided below to the article in full, the section on Bhangra just reminds us of the power of music, and how we as Punjabi’s have used it to great effect to immerse ourselves into different cultures around the world. Bhangra music has given different generations of Punjabi youths growing up a voice, and a window into their proud musical heritage and future.
Glad other people are also seeing the link!
One can also find in Bhangra a genre that has become internationalised as it crosses frontiers and territoriality. With an increasing Asian population in England, with the emergence of third and fourth generations too, a fusion of the past and present, of folk music of rural India and pop music of Europe has given voice to Bhangra as it is today. The Punjabi migrants who came to London did so in search for jobs and prosperity, but Bhangra also became an important part of community life, particularly at weddings and family parties, where the first Bhangra bands started to play. As immigration increased, Bhangra’s language, Indian/Punjabi, was not understood by all those who listened to it. However, the richness of the rhythm emanates from its mixing traditional Asian music with soul, hip-hop and R&B. This genre of music can be a cultural tool that transcends cultural conflicts by bringing a wider audience into its scenery. It is an Indian folk music and the traditional music of Punjab, northern India, where displacement has always been a predominant characteristic. Not only has Bhangra been used by the Asian community to maintain cultural links, but it has also featured as an established phenomenon of the British Asian music scene for the last half a century, reflecting the conforming nature of its people as well as the society it has emerged from.