Sunday, 8 February 2009

Our own Punjabis

Don't tell any jokes about Punjabis to us. We have lots of family members who are Punjabis. Sheba's brother Peter has married the lovely Yashmeet, while my brother Stefan has married the lovely Neeru. So we have links to both the Sikh and Hindu strands that make up most of Punjabi culture.

Say Punjabi and the immediate thought that comes to mind is the Bangra dance. The zestful harvest dance that a thousand hand waving dancers at our myriad weddings replicate in a poor shadow of what the true Punjabi sons-of-the-soil do.

Enoch is in his final year of pre-school (he has managed to put 4 years into 3!) and stands on the treshhold of beginning 1st standard in June. The school is pretty enlightened in some ways - their 'sports day' consists entirely of non-competitive displays.

Enoch's participation this year was in the 'Bangra Dance'. Sheba and Asha went to the great day - and I had the task of dressing up our mini-Punjabi. Mummy's dupattas were used for a dhoti, a sash and a turban. Enoch was shy about going down to the bus - as he did not want others to laugh at him - but some coaxing later dutifully got on the school bus in his outfit.

The dance was a sliver of time - and part of a morning where each student in the whole school (3 years with 8 sections each with 50 in each class!) participating in some kind of display.

Maybe one day Enoch will really learn the Bangra. He could be doing something like this - a video of the Yale Bangra team, whose leader Govind Rangrass did a small study on elderly with HIV here two years ago. Take a look for some very robust dancing by clicking: here.

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