Punjabis are more open-minded and welcoming. This phenomenon also dominates the folk dances of Punjab
Naach is a Sanskrit word, which was also used in Urdu, Punjabi, Hindi and other languages afterwards. According to the Hindu believe Naach is one of the various disguises of Hindu God Shiva. Shiva is also deemed as the king of dance. It is also believed that Ganesha used to play mridangam as Shiva danced. According to Hindu faith there were some occasions when Shiva wanted to dance but Ganesha was unavailable to play mridangam, so Shiva himself played Dumroo and danced simultaneously. Apart from religious believes, modern anthropologists claim that dance has been a cultural phenomenon. According to the gurus of dance; Art, literature and other fine arts evolve its features within specific socio-political context and the development of these forms of arts grow with the intellectual prosperity of society.
Punjab is a land full of resourses. Its rich and fertile soil played a vital role in putting up the mindset of the people of Punjab and because of this affluence; Punjabis are more open-minded and welcoming. This phenomenon also dominates the folk dances of Punjab. Punjab folk dance can be divided in two main categories.
Punjabi Folk Dances for Females
Punjabi Folk Dances for Males
- Malwai Giddha
Sammi is a traditional dance of Punjab and it has been performed since the tribal era of Punjab. Sammi is the most prominent and beloved folk dance of Punjab and the lower casts of Punjabi tribes like Bazigur, Raaie, Labana and Saansi have kept this form of dance still alive. The women of these tribes still perform this dance on particular events. A folk tale is also associated with Sammi. The heroine of this folk tale, Shames Rani Sammi falls in love with a Rajkumar of Rajhistan. Princess Sammi belonged to the family of Marwad’s Rajkumars. The name of her beloved was Such Kumar and Semi used to call him Dhool. This form of dance was named after Sammi. This style of dance narrates the love of Sammj and her excessive emotion at her separation from Rajkumar Suchkumami. Women execute this dance in a circle. All the dancers make a circle and raise and move their right hands. A folk song has also interrelated with this dance and all the dancers sing that song too. Time has changed now and we are living in a globalized world. Despite the fact, globalization has brought a revolution in modern era but middle classes are facing the identity crises nonetheless. This is why middle classes have to rediscover their identity by searching their history. The revival of Sammi in Punjab verifies the fact that Punjabi middle class also wants to revive its actual identity. This folk dance does not limit to the lower classes anymore. Now this dance represents the modern cultural wisdom of the people of Punjab.
Gidha is also a folk dance for the women of Punjab. This dance is very lively and vigorous like Bhangra. Both girls and women can carry out this dance. This dance is also performed in circle. Women make circle to perform this dance and clap in order to produce rhythm. Sometimes Dholki is also played to produce the rhythm. Women also sing Bools along with this dance. The poetry is related with the daily lives of these women. They narrate the domination of their mother in laws or other female relatives. The poetry of these Bools also mocks the redundant norms of the society and aspires for a better society. While performing this dance women usually wear Shalwar Qameez and Chunrees. Gidha replicates the different emotions of Punjabi women. Their anger, pains, jokes, hatred, love and aspirations can be observed through the poetry of these Bools. This form of dance is the real face of Punjabi women and this is why modern anthropologists can study the women of Punjab by watching Gidha.
Malwai Giddha is a dance for the old aged men of Punjab. It belongs to the Malway region of Punjab. It is also called old men Giddha. Punjabi Boolies are also used in this form of dance and the poetry of these Boolies mocks the traditions and vices of other people. This dance was initiated from a village Chutta placed in the district Sungroor. This dance is also known for the usage of different instruments like, Chimta, Ek Tara, Kato Duoph and Kertara etc.
Bhangra is a vigorous and a forceful form of Punjabi folk dance. Bhangra was created in the eleventh century, when the land owners and peasants celebrate the occasion of cutting the crop and their win over nature. The movements of this dance show the love of the people of Punjab for their land. Interestingly Bhangra is a sole Punjabi dance which becomes the identity of Punjabi people all over the world. That is why this dance has been modernized and western music has also been fused in this dance. Bhangra itself is a fusion of all the folk dances of Punjab and it is loved all over the Punjab. In this dance, dancers wear the traditional Kurta and Chadar. They also cover their head with Pagri. Dresses of the dancers of Bhangra were also modernized and became more colorful with the passage of time. Bhangra is just not merely a form of dance; it is rather more famously a music genre nowadays. Bhangra was modernized and fused with western music in late 60s and early 70s when different Bhangra bands from Punjab performed in U.K. Heera group, Alaaap band, chiraagh Phechan, Apna Sangeet and New Pardesi are some of the popular Bhnagra bands of this era. Bhangra became very popular dance and music genre in U.K Bhangra bands spreaded all over the Europe in the 80s.
Folk dance Jhoomer means moving in ecstasy. This dance was started from Multan and Baluchistan. This amazing form of dance also includes all the musical elements and this is why people enjoy dancing it on all the happy occasions. This is usually danced by Baluchi and Sariki people. Different steps of this dance copy the movements of different animals. Sutlag Jhoomer, Byas Jhooemr, and Chunaab Jhoomer are some of the different varieties of this dance. Dhrees is also a kind of Jhoomer which is danced in district Jhang and rest of the south Punjab.
Ludi, Dankara, Dhmall, Kikli, Gatka are also some of the famous folk dances of Punjab.