What is Bhangra?

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Bhangra is an up-tempo and dance music that is commonly associated with the Punjabi culture.  The folk music that originated from the Punjabi people takes its roots from traditional Bhangra music.  The Punjab region is located in an area between the borders of Pakistan and India and is famous for their unique culture along with their music.  Bhangra is considered one of their traditional dances that evolved into popular music in recent times.  Whenever the term Bhangra is mentioned, people would often relate it to a folk dance tune from the Panjabi people.

Traditional Bhangra music was believed to be used as a kind of celebratory dance especially during the arrival of spring.  The Punjabi way of life is also rich in festivals and celebration and most of these are held as a form of thanksgiving.  In the case of Bhangra, this particular music is said to be common during celebrations that welcome the spri.ng or Vaisaki.  In modern times, this traditional dance music was merged with more recent sounds by various bands that had Western influences.  With modern instruments and traditional Punjabi influence, Bhangra music eventually evolved into the pop mainstream and became its own genre.  Many people refer to Bhangra music as traditional Asian music.

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More and more people have elevated the level of Bhangra music to pop culture.  By the 1980s, Bhangra became a hit across the UK with the infusion of modern sounds from famous rock and alternative bands.  The young British youth at the time became the main supporters of Bhangra music and many songs were considered their anthems for rebellion or self-identity. Other Bhangra-inspired music has also been used across different bars and clubs in the UK.  The popularity of Bhangra music has also penetrated major films in Bollywood, India’s version of the movie industry.  Starting as a traditional and folk sound, Bhangra music has successfully evolved into its own genre whether the authentic sound is used in various other genres like pop, rock, hip-hop or R&B.

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