Unique Dhol fiesta showcases colourful Punjabi culture while promoting understanding, appreciation and integration

 

Music and dance are often seen to be the best platforms to promote the cultural tapestry of Singapore. Using the Dhol (Indian drum) and dance performances, YSA showcased the rich Punjabi culture, heritage and tradition as well as to promoted cultural understanding, appreciation and integration. For the very first time, it organised a multi-ethnic Dhol cultural event and competition on 17 November 2013.

Mdm Halimah Yacob, Speaker of Parliament, Singapore, was the Guest-of-Honour for the event. Top Dhol players, Sikhs and non-Sikhs, performed to a sell-out crowd of more than 300 people from different ethnicities, backgrounds and walks.

The unique and entertaining Dhol competition included the 'Junior', 'Youth', 'Open' and 'Group' categories and witnessed participation of close to 30 Dhol players. In addition to top Dhol players coming together to showcase the vibrant Punjabi culture, the event included Dhol performances by non-Sikhs. At the same time, it showcased dance performances by the other ethnic groups in Singapore – all with the aim of developing greater camaraderie between people of different ethnicities.

The word 'Dhol Dhamaka' means 'Drum Fiesta'. The Dhol refers to a double-headed drum widely used, with regional variations, throughout the Indian subcontinent. Among the various drum variations, the Punjabi Dhol is perhaps best known abroad, including in Singapore, due to its prominent place in the rhythm of popular Punjabi Bhangra music.

Mr Malminderjit Singh, President, YSA, shared that, "YSA has, in the past, successfully brought people from various backgrounds together to promote and foster multi-racial harmony and cultural understanding as well as integration of new citizens and foreigners. The Bhangra Bonanza events in 2010 and 2012 are a case in point. This unique and exciting cultural platform focusing on Dhol performances has certainly helped us to achieve these aims again."

Fifty-two year old Mr Sukhdev Singh stated, "It is important to find new and unique ways to promote the important messages of understanding, appreciation and integration. Music and dance really bring people together as these channels transcend race, language, religion and nationality. My family and I really had great fun."

Mr Harmeet Singh was equally thrilled to be part of the event. The 12-year old stated that, "The event was really interesting and enjoyable. We had Dhol performances and dances throughout the afternoon. I could see that people were really enjoying themselves."

The event was supported by Central Singapore CDC, Tote Board, Singapore Turf Club, Singapore Indian Development Association, Lee Foundation, Community Integration Fund, Singapore Khalsa Association and Singapore Dhol Federation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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