Red Dot Bhangra 2016, a week-long Bhangra festival by YSA and Sadi Wakhri Ah Taur (S.W.A.T.) Singapore, ended with a bang on 24 July 2016. The jointly organised Bhangra Bonanza showcased an array of Singapore’s finest Bhangra groups and was met with excitement and success.

The Bhangra festival aimed to create greater awareness and understanding of the Punjabi culture, specifically through the medium of Bhangra and other musical-based performing arts. During the week, the two organisations jointly carried out a social media campaign, reached out to the wider society (Bhangra-Lab or B-Lab), including the under-privileged and non-Singaporeans, as well as the Bhangra Bonanza as the grand finale.

The social media campaign began on 19 July 2016 where a video clip promoting the Bhangra culture were circulated online, launching the week-long Red Dot Bhangra festival. The clip featured the various Bhangra dance artists in Singapore, the history and significance of the Punjabi performance culture, particularly Bhangra, and why some non-Singaporeans (who are members of the teams) have chosen to be active members of the Bhangra fraternity in Singapore.

In essence, the B-Lab objectives were three-fold: Educate. Engage. Entertain. Partnering with the Learn Bhangra App through Learn Bhangra Singapore, the B-Lab event on 22 July 2016 at the Sikh Centre Singapore exposed people to fitness while they enjoyed themselves with the fast paced yet fun steps.

As part of the B-Lab, a mini-exhibition on the heritage of Bhangra was also organised. This sought to promote the understanding of Bhangra culture, which the Punjabi society practices in Singapore. Part of the B-Lab’s objectives was to also target new citizens, permanent residents and foreigners to promote integration and strengthen inter-racial bonds amongst them.

This cultural extravaganza featured Singapore’s top Bhangra team and performers from other cultures who came together to entertain audiences at The Grassroots Club on 24 July 2016. Designed to promote inter-cultural understanding, an appreciation of the Punjabi culture and to strengthen multiracial bonds in a fun-filled way, the Bhangra Bonanza also featured non-Sikh/Punjabi performers from Singapore. Likewise, the audience also consisted of Punjabis and other ethnic groups which contributed to the promotion of inter-racial understanding.

Together with the audience, the Guest of Honour for the event, Mr Henry Kwek, Member of Parliament for Nee Soon GRC, and Mr Inderjit Singh, Advisor, YSA, thoroughly enjoyed themselves with the performances and many bright colours that were present during the bonanza.

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