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Bhangra & Giddha

Punjabi folk dance for men or for all is Bhangra

Bhangra originated in the Punjab region of India. Traditionally a good harvest was celebrated by dancing and singing songs to the sound of the dhol drum.


Bhangra is a traditional form of dance and music which originates from the Punjab region of India and Pakistan. It was initially used as a celebratory folk dance which heralded the coming of spring, or Vaisakhi, as it is known.


Following the partition of India different regions of the country began to mix and interact sharing their different forms of Bhangra. The end result was a hybrid being created which incorporated the many different styles of the unique act. Bhangra became popularized chiefly due to the Sikh community who helped to integrate the music and dance into the Bollywood film industry.

In its purest form Bhangra is a mix of a singing accompanied by music and the beat of a single drum known as a dhol. The lyrics are always sung in the language of Punjabi and usually relate to social or cultural issues. These can be anything from marriage and love to money and dancing, or even getting drunk. Current Bhangra artists take their inspiration from all kinds of sources, often dealing with hot topics of the time. Bhangra seeks to offer a message along with its music.


Bhangra dances differ from region to region and still retain their own unique identities. The term Bhangra has come to incorporate a whole host of these dance forms including Jhumar, Luddi, Giddha, Julli, Daankara, Dhamal, Saami, Kikli, and Gatka. The dancers sing the chorus of the song whilst dancing around the drum, or dhol, which sets the unique beat of the dance.


Giddha (Punjabi, Pronounce: Gidha) is a popular folk dance of women in Punjab region of India and Pakistan.
The dance is often considered derived from the ancient dance known as the ring dance and is just as energetic as Bhangra; at the same time it manages to creatively display feminine grace, elegance and elasticity.


Giddha costumes consist of bright-coloured clothes complemented by heavy jewellery. The Punjabi salwar kameez or ghagra in bright and rich colours are the typical costumes of the dance. Women also wear ornaments like mathapati on the forehead.

It is a very colourful dance form which is now copied in all regions of the country. Women perform this dance mainly at festive or social occasions.


Giddha is usually danced in harmony, swinging and twisting the body, shaking the shoulders while bending knees and clapping.


Normally, there is no accompaniment by musical instruments with Giddha, except (sometimes) a dholak (small two-headed drum) which provides the rhythm for the dance. Mostly women prefer clapping as the rhythm. The hand-claps of the dancers are a prominent feature of this art-form.


Performance and Acts
Giddha is essentially danced in a circle. All of the dancers clap their hands and sing small couplets called Boliyan. These Boliaan are emotional, humorous, and teasing, and cover various topics such as love and nature. Then, two of the dancers come to the centre and perform the dance. These Boliyan cover themes from nature to the excesses committed by the husband or mother-in-law or other relatives, and love among other things.


Mimicry is very popular in Giddha. Giddha incorporates village life scenes of women spinning cotton, fetching water from the well, etc. This is accompanied with appropriate Boli songs.

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