Bhaṅgṛā (Punjabi: ਭੰਗੜਾ (Gurmukhi), بھنگڑا (Shahmukhi),; pronounced [pə̀ŋɡɽaː]) is a form of music invented by Punjabi Immigrants in the 1980s. Bhangra also refers to a folk dance. Bhangra dance began as a folk dance conducted by Punjabi farmers in 11th century to celebrate the coming of the harvest season. The specific moves of bhangra reflect the manner in which villagers farmed their land. This hybrid dance became bhangra. The folk dance has been popularised in the Western world by Punjabi musicians and is seen in the West as an expression of South Asian culture as a whole. Today, Bhangra dance survives in different forms and styles all over the globe – including pop music, film soundtracks, collegiate competitions and cultural shows.
Bhangra dance is based on music from a Punjabi folk drum, folk singing, a single-stringed instrument called the iktar, the tumbi and the chimta. The accompanying songs are small couplets written in the Punjabi language called bolis. In Punjabi folk music, the dhol's smaller cousin, the dholki, was nearly always used to provide the main beat. Nowadays, the dhol is used more frequently. Additional percussion, including tabla, is less frequently used in bhangra as a solo instrument but is sometimes used to accompany the dhol and dholki. This rhythm serves as a common thread that allows for easy commingling between Punjabi folk and reggae, as demonstrated by such artists as the UK's Apache Indian.
Traditional men wear a chaadra while doing bhangra. A chaadra is a piece of cloth wrapped around the waist. Men also wear a kurta, which is a long Indian-style shirt. In addition, men wear pagadi (also known as turbans) to cover their heads.
In modern times, men also wear turla, the fan attached to the pagadi. Colorful vests are worn above the kurta. Fumans (small balls attached to ropes) are worn on each arm.
Women wear a traditional Punjabi dress known as a salwar kameez, long baggy pants tight at the ankle (salwar) and a long colorful shirt (kameez). Women also wear chunnis, colorful pieces of cloth wrapped around the neck.
These items are all very colorful and vibrant, representing the rich rural colors of Punjab. Besides the above, the bhangra dress has different parts that are listed below in detail:
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