Punjabi Folk Dance
Virsa (Punjabi: ورثہ, ਵਿਰਸਾ; lit. "Heritage")
I was born in a land where the fields flow with mustard plants and the earth is golden. The land which holds so much history and culture. I was born in Punjab. As a Punjabi, it is my responsibility to carry the inheritance of beautiful traditions, music and dance that is passed on to me by ancestors.
"Virsa is the material, spiritual and cultural treasure one inherits on birth and it remains a part of conscious (or subconscious) part of the personality of every individual till death. If properly understood it should add to an individual’s potential for achievement. " - Gurmukh Singh (2005)
Folk Dances of Punjab-
Punjab is a state located in Northwestern India and Northeastern Pakistan. Punjab, India shares a border with Pakistan, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan. Punjab, Pakistan shares a border Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Islamabad Capital Territory and Azad Kashmir.
This area is home to many different religions, namely Sikhism, Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity and is known for its diversity of Mosques and Gurudawara’s (the Sikh place of worship). Despite the differences in religion, the culture of these places is almost identical. One of the most prevalent parts of Punjabi culture includes food, festivals and many traditions.
Dancing plays a huge role in the culture of Punjab and has shaped the history of Punjab across the border. As most natives of Punjab are farmers, they used dance as a way to celebrate the people's relationship to the land where they harvest food.
Bhangra and Giddha are prevalent in cultural and religious festivals for Punjab in both Indian and Pakistan. Other forms of dances are are often incorporated into Bhangra include Jhoomer, Malawi, Julli, Sammi, Jaago, Dankara, and Luddi. While preforming, proper costumes, or Vardiyan, are supposed to be worn, and are a large part of the folk tradition and culture of Punjab.
Northeastern Pakistan Festivals Bhangra is performed at many carnivals that take place on Eid, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan. It is also performed at Basant which is the festival of kites, which marks the start of the spring season. In Northwestern India dance is observed in festivals such as Basakhi, which is the festival of food harvest, or Lori, which welcomes warmer days and the end of winter, and the season of food growing. It is also observed in Holi, which is the festival of colors and happiness and the festival of forgiveness.
There are religious and cultural ties between northwestern India and northeastern Pakistan and how they interlock with Bhangra. Though these dances have evolved and modernized over time, for the people of Punjab, the purpose of dancing stays constant-celebration and joy.