Bhangra is one of the few folk dances of India that has not only managed to stand the test of time, but also received international recognition. The Maritime Bhangra Group has found an inspiring use of the uplifting dance form – to spread love and joy among people.
The MBG is slowly climbing up the popularity ladder when it comes to social media and for a good reason too. We at Morning News USA reached out to Hasmeet Singh Chandok, one of the founders of the group. Through the interview we wanted to find out more about their origin and their future vision.
Maritime Bhangra Group – Dancing For A Purpose
The very name of their dance group represents the fusion of cultures. They reside in a part of Canada (Halifax, Nova Scotia) that is typically called Maritimes. The Maritime Bhangra Group swears by the nature that the people living in their area are known for.
“The people in Maritimes are loving, caring, giving and passionate. Maritime Bhangra Group had same mandate, so the name MBG looked very relevant,” Chandok said.
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Their paths collided when they were studying at Dalhousie University and St. Mary’s University. Being from the North Indian province of Punjab, their shared roots brought them closer. Also, all of them believed in “the shared responsibility of every human being to help and love the other needy and unloved ones.”
“Bhangra represents pure joy and an expression of happiness. We all come from same province namely Punjab of North India. It a traditionally dance of our province, so before we even met, each one of us already had a passion for this dance form,” Chandok explained.
Even though he made it clear that he is no expert when it comes to knowing the history of Indian folk art, Chandok patented his best guess as to why Bhangra has survived throughout the ages while most of the Indian folk dances got lost in oblivion.
“As far as I know the Bhangra dance is closely related to the agricultural culture of our province, back home. And Punjab is a province, which is still dependent mostly on agriculture. So, its association to our work and everyday life could be a reason for its survival,” he noted.
“Moreover, large Punjabi population lives in countries outside India like USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand etc. I think doing Bhangra made these people living abroad feel home away from home and it has played a big role in the survival of this dance form,” he further added.
How Social Media Became A Boon
The main rise to fame for Maritime Bhangra Group has been social media and they are ever so grateful to that medium:
“I think social media has played a very significant role in helping us to spread the work for all the fundraisers and free programs we run for schools, universities etc. Getting millions of hits makes the task of reaching out people easy for us.”
As for the holiday season, it has been a pretty busy time for MBG. They created a Christmas video which was met with a lot of appreciation by people all around the world.
In yet another video they asked people to donate to ALS society in Canada. The most recent one is dedicated to raise awareness and money for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.
Their positive vision and noble purpose is reflected in every video they make:
“We hope to work hard to raise more and more money for needy and unloved ones using dance or any other talents we have.” They also “plan to visit more and more people through our speeches and dance to raise awareness about failure, rejection, ignorance and discrimination.”
We at MNU would like to wish MBG all the best for the future! You can visit their Facebook Page by clicking here to watch their videos.