The definitive guide to South Asian lingo

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Noun. July 16, 2011, Word of the Day


Traditional Punjabi dance form, which has now become famous all over the world for its foot-tapping music and shoulder-shaking moves. Danced practically at every Indian wedding around the world, albeit pretty badly by most (sticking out one finger in the air and jabbing it up and down looks nothing like the original dance). But still, tremendous fun and very, very hard to resist.

The great thing about bhangra is how free its form can be. Unlike some other stodgy and exclusive dances, bhangra can be danced by anyone, be it a little child, or an 80-year old grandpa trying to show a 78-year old grandma that he can move better than MJ. Aaaooow!

Bhangra must always, always be danced with a certain nonchalance. Looking too serious is a big no-no, for this is a dance of pure joy and abandon. Also a big no is shakin your bum from side-to-side, that just makes people wonder if your pelvic girdle is a bit wobbly.

Surdies are known to start getting jiggy with it for every rhyme and reason. If there's reason to celebrate, clear the floor, oye!


*Surdie boy gets top marks in maths. Shock, awe and surprise on everyone's faces*

Surdie Papaji, most pleased:" Shabash Puttar!!! Tu full marks laya, aur pass bhi ho gaya!!! Chaak thei futaii!" *Jumps out of chair and starts doing the bhangra, even though he's full of aloo paranthas. Such is the joy*

Bharatnatyam and Bhangra are two ends of the dance scale; one demands elegance, discipline and strict form, while the other just needs a patiala peg or two to make it enjoyable!

Added 2011-07-13 by Surdie Birdie