Bhangra History

Topics: Female, Vancouver, Dance Pages: 2 (815 words) Published: April 17, 2012
Term Paper FPA 120
Throughout the semester our class has been opened up to experiencing the Vancouver Bhangra Community. Bhangra is a folk dance that originated in Punjab but started in Vancouver during the 1970’s and usually was performed with half guys and half girls, however the girls were Caucasian. Also, in Vancouver around the same time when there were labor rights strikes the Dhol become really popular because it was used in the strikes to receive fair wages. The 70’s and 80’s were when the Bhangra scene in Vancouver was blossoming and creating an identity for itself; However, it was a male dominated dance form with very little involvement from females. Even in the 90’s female Bhangra dancers were only on coed teams until the first all girls team in Vancouver, the UBC Girls Bhangra team in 2002. After hearing experiences from the UBC Girls team it was clear to see the change in the overall involvement of girls in the Bhangra competitive area. At first the UBC girls were not seen as equal to the male teams because Bhangra was considered a male dance form and even judges would tell them that they were not as the same level as the males because there were girls and could not perform in a manly enough way. They were also told it was inappropriate for girls to dance in such a manner but the UBC girls didn’t let that stop them. They continued on to dance regardless of the criticism they were getting and actually went on to win many first places, even at Vancouver International Bhangra in 2005, 2006 &2007. The culture behind Bhangra is one of a conservative nature and any change usually takes a while but as we can see after the UBC girls more and more girls are freely joining Bhangra teams and even competing. The negative stigma that was behind girls in Bhangra is slowly going away to make it a more accepting dance form for males and females. I personally think the Bhangra Community in Vancouver plays a huge role in promoting a good outlet for younger...
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