Waikato Punjabi Cultural Club
Growing and Promoting Punjabi Culture in New Zealand
Here at the Waikato Punjabi Cultural Club (WPCC) we would like to offer you the unique experience of learning the dances, or improving your current dance technique. Although no certification is needed to teach Bhangra and Giddha, we have instructors with years of experience from both here and from India. It is a very competitive form of dance in India and all our instructors have participated at national level.
Bhangra is a lively form of music and dance that originated in the Punjab region in Southeast Asia. While Bhangra began as apart of harvest festival celebrations, it eventually became a part of such diverse occasions as weddings and New Year celebrations. Around the 14th or 15th Century, Punjabi wheat farmers danced and sang songs about village life to help pass the time while working in the fields. Originally only men enjoyed this dance but as we move into the 20th century, women are also keen on this lively dance.
Giddha 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 and at the same time it manages to creatively display feminine grace, elegance and elasticity. Normally, no musical instruments are accompanied with giddha, except sometimes a dholak (small two headed drum) and provides the rhythm for the dance. Women clap and/or clang spoons to keep the rhythm. During the dance ‘giddha’ songs called ‘bolis’ are also sung. ‘Bolis’ alternate with the dance sequence which continue for a considerable period of time.