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Indian Embassy celebrates Punjab region,COs rich folk culture (Lastpage).

The Indian Embassy celebrated the 61st anniversary of that nationCOs independence with a bit of local color Co the vibrant dancing and music of the Punjab region.

More than 300 people attended last TuesdayCOs performance, which showcased performers who had journeyed to SanaCOa from IndiaCOs northwestern Punjab region to perform their traditional dances and songs for the crowd of foreigners, Indians and Yemenis alike.

A group of more than 10 dancers, both male and female, wore brightly colored traditional garb from their region while dancing to music performed on a dhol drum and the stringed tumbi, instruments particular to the Indian subcontinent.

Bhangra is lively form of traditional dance usually performed by men, although sometimes with female accompaniment. It first was danced during harvest time, but now has spread to any festive occasions, such as weddings and New YearCOs celebrations, according to the regionCOs web site, Its popularity has spread worldwide due to Bollywood films featuring this type of music and dance in elaborately choreographed scenes, which are the hallmark of Indian films.

The movements of Bhangra are swift, light-footed and happy, which is appropriate since it is danced at festivals and celebrations. They recount stories, such as ones of love and good harvests. WomenCOs traditional Punjabi dance is called giddha, which uses rhythmic handclapping in its performance.

The male dancers wore salwar kamis, which is a long hemmed shirt worn over pants and topped by elaborate turbans. The women likewise wore bright colors in the form of a tunic and trousers, with a brightly-colored and decorated headscarf draped around them as well.

IndiaCOs Ambassador to Yemen, Shri Alagapurian Karuppaiyah, expressed his thanks to the Yemeni government on his countryCOs independence day. C[pounds sterling]On this day, they allowed cultures from all over the world to come here,C[yen] he said, C[pounds sterling]We thank the government for accepting our dancers.C[yen]

While the Punjabi dancers were excited to present their culture to a larger audience worldwide, they did not know about YemenCOs own traditional dances, such as the baraa, which also may be performed after a harvest.

Dancer Ravinder Singh from Loti Ana in the Punjab region has danced professionally for more than 15 years. C[pounds sterling]ICOve represented [my culture] numerous times in about 17 countries,C[yen] he said, C[pounds sterling]Now that ICOve visited Yemen, I think itCOs a very old and very good country.C[yen]

This was the first time for the group to perform at the embassy in SanaCOa, although there were follow-up shows in Aden, Dhamar and Hodeidah, which finished on Friday. There will be another cultural performance at the Indian Embassy in SanaCOa this October....

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Publication:Yemen Times (Sana'a, Yemen)
Date:Aug 11, 2008
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