Folk Dance of Punjab

Punjab may be a very rich state regarding the styles and number of folk dances that you can find here. It’s many different varieties of folk dances including Bhangra and Giddha among the most prominent and popular. To not miss out on a good thing these days, many non-Punjabis also get into the spirit and fun of the folk dance of Punjab, as you sometimes see an EU, African or Chinese face in several Bhangra competitions.

Such non-Punjabis made Punjabi dance literally a part of their own local culture. The Punjab people’s exuberance and enthusiasm are strongly displayed in their folk dances.

The steps filled with speech, movements, verbal comments, movement subtleties, and uninhibited liberation-it’s a heart dance! With the drumbeat or the rhythm of another folk music instrument, the lively feet of the Punjab people are spontaneously set to offer up resistance and instantly give birth to a folk dance- an expression of the victorious soul; an explosion of emotions; a sudden release of energy.

Punjab dances are the direct representation of the energy and enthusiasm of Punjab’s vibrant youth. The folk dances of Punjab are filled with foreign influences. it’s only in Punjab where men and women don’t have the dance.

Traditional Folk Dance of Punjab

1. Bhangra

folk dance of punjab
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Bhangra originally dedicated to harvesting but later changed its shape with some modernization, changing musical equipment and evolving dancing patterns. Bhangra’s energy with a standard Punjabi Dhol and Jhanjhar has gradually become popular across all Indian states.

2. Giddha

punjabi dance
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Giddha played by Punjab’s young women. The dance may be a show of women’s vigor and vitality and has a colorful atmosphere. it’s not limited to any times, either. The dance often performed on any social event. The costume is common household stuff with some light decorations. Giddha’s dance style jerks the shoulders and bends the lower body segment. Clapping helps the dance as an instrument as well. The dance uses no music.

3. Dankara

dance of punjab
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Often referred to as the Gatka dance, this is often a holiday dance. Two guys, each carrying colorful staves, dance around one another in unison with the drums and tap their sticks together. The dance is usually a part of a marriage celebration.

4. Luddi

Luddi Dance
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This is often a disco of triumph, where people make different head movements. The costume may be a loose, plain shirt. The dancers put their backs on one side, and their faces on the opposite. The movement of the body is sinuous and sort of a snake. There’s a guitarist within the dance room as well.

Folk Musical Instruments of Punjab

1. Algoze

instrument of punjab
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Alghoza may be a paired woodwind instrument. It’s traditionally used by Baloch, Saraiki, Sindhi, Kutchi, Punjabi, and Rajasthani ethnic musicians. It consists of two joined beak flutes, one for melody, and the second for the drone. The flutes are either tied together or could also held together loosely with the hands. 

The endless flow of air is necessary as the player blows into the two flutes simultaneously. The fast recapturing of breath on each beat creates a bouncing, swinging rhythm. The wooden instrument initially comprised two flute pipes of identical length but over time, one among them was shortened for sound purposes. 

Within the world of Alghoza playing, the 2 flute pipes are a couple — the longer one is the male and the shorter one the female instrument. With the utilization of beeswax, the instrument is often scaled to any tune.

2. Bugchu

Musical Instrument of punjab
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Bugchu also spelled as Bughchu, Bugdu or Bughdu, may be a traditional musical instrument native to the Punjab region. It’s used in various cultural activities like folk music and folk dances such as bhangra, Malwai Giddha etc. 

It’s a simple but unique instrument made of wood. Its shape is extremely like the damru, an Indian instrument. It makes a sound almost like its name, “bugchoo”.

3. Dilruba

punjabi folk dance instrument
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The dilruba (also spelt dilrupa) may be a bowed musical instrument originating in India. It’s slightly larger than an esraj and has a larger, square resonance box. The dilruba holds particular importance in Sikh history.

4. Dhadd

folk dance of punjab
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Dhadd, also spelled as Dhad or Dhadh is an hourglass-shaped traditional instrument native to Punjab that is mainly used by the Dhadi singers. It’s also used by other folk singers of the region.

5. Dhol

dance of punjab
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Dhol can ask any one of several similar types of double-headed drum widely used, with regional variations, throughout the Indian subcontinent. Its range of distribution in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan primarily include northern areas like the Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Kashmir, Sindh, Assam Valley, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Odisha, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Konkan, Goa, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Bihar, Jharkhand, and Uttar Pradesh. The range stretches westward as far as eastern Afghanistan.

7. Ektara

Ektara Musical Instrument
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Ektara may be a stringed instrument made of bamboo, parchment and steel. This traditional instrument is found in Maharashtra. Majorly a drone instrument, it’s used by traditional folk singers in various parts of Maharashtra.

8. Khartal

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Khartal is an ancient instrument mainly utilized in devotional / folk songs. It’s derived its name from Sanskrit words ‘kara’ meaning hand and ‘tala’ meaning clapping. This wooden clapper may be a Ghana Vadya which has discs or plates that produce a clinking sound when clapped together.

It falls under the category of idiophones of self-sounding instruments that combine properties of vibrator and resonator.

9. Sarangi

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The sarangi may be a bowed, short-necked string instrument played in traditional music from India – Punjabi ethnic music, Rajasthani folk music, and Boro ethnic music (there known as the serja) – also in Pakistan and Bangladesh. 

It’s said to most resemble the sound of the human voice through its ability to imitate vocal ornaments such as gamaks (shakes) and meends (sliding movements). The sarangi (Nepali) may be a different instrument, traditional to Nepal.

10. Tumbi

Tumbi Toombi Instruments
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The tumbi or toombi pronunciation: tumbi, also called a tumba or toomba, maybe a traditional musical instrument from the Punjab region of the northern Indian subcontinent. The high-pitched, single string plucking instrument is related to the folk music of Punjab and presently very popular in Western Bhangra music.