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A glimpse into Punjabi culture



Dancers from Punjab rehearsing for Punjabi Mela 2003.

Bringing to Delhi the charm of an authentic Punjabi village is the three-day "Punjabi Mela 2003'' which gets under way at Talkatora Gardens today (Thursday).

Slated as the most important annual event for the Punjabi community in Delhi, it is also one of the most eagerly awaited television events for Punjabis all over the globe.

The mela is aimed at giving youngsters a "first-hand'' experience of what officials claim to be a culture that is now restricted only to exhibitions. The "Punjabi Mela 2003'' is then a "celebration of everything great about the Punjabi culture from food to handicrafts, folk dances to the world-famous Punjabi music''.

A joint effort of the Punjab Academy of the Delhi Government and television channels ETC Punjabi and Alpha Punjabi, the cultural carnival will be inaugurated by Delhi's Chief Minister, Sheila Dikshit. It will showcase the art of embroidery - "Phulkari''-- the "charkha'' or the spinning wheel, making of "lassi'' besides old musical instruments like "been'', "algoza'' and "rabab''. There will also be traditional Punjabi food including "makki di roti'' and "sarson da saag''. And in addition to the various stalls, a traditional Punjabi Bazaar has been planned where Punjabi "jutti'', "naale-parandey'' and wooden goods will be put on sale.

In the evening, artistes will take the audience on a nostalgic journey through Punjabi culture. According to Punjabi Academy officials, the event will offer a glimpse of the rich cultural heritage of the people from the land of five rivers. Also, attempts are being made to present a panorama from `Folk to Pop' and music of all ages to enthral the audience.

The line-up for the evening programmes include Jazzy B, Kamal Heer, Shankar Sawhney and Jaswinder Brar who will be presenting the best of Punjabi folk and pop music along with performances by Idu Sharief Dhadi, Barkat Sidhu, Pooran Chand Wadali, Manpreet Akhtar, Jasbir Jassi, Shael, Kamaljeet Neeru, Surinder Laddi, Bhupi and Satinder Satti. Also to be staged is an exquisite fusion of "bhangra-gidda'' and Western dances by BMP Fire.

By Bindu Shajan Perappadan

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