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Mexican-Punjabis relation through dance

Mexican-Punjabi is a vanishing tribe

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mexican-punjabis
the performance held on 10th and 11th april credits: kalw.org

BY MEGHA SHARMA

The United States had always been an open land to possibilities. It is visited by a huge number of immigrants every year. California which is not only a land of renowned universities, it consists of various fertile farmlands which gave opportunity to numerous Indians who wanted to have a hand in the agricultural field.

It is recorded that through Canada many people from Punjabi communities came here to grow peach and plums. However, restrictive immigration stratagem didn’t allow these outsiders to find a wife in their countries. As a result, what came out were interracial marriages of these refugees and the native Mexican women who used to work in the farms.

This gave rise to cultural amalgamation and this intermixing is now at the end of its league as the generations of this sub-culture are reaching the end of their lives. To overcome such a drastic loss a new dance series “Half and Halves” has been organised.

This dance series is a result of pairing up of the “Dance and drum company” (specialising in Bhangra) based in San Francisco and the Ensembles Ballet Folklorico de San Francisco (focussed on the traditional Mexican Dance) to showcase the cultural mix.

The show is a series of dances depicting the cultural ties and also exploring the marriages in the early 20th Century, which created a unique multiplicity of cultural engagements.

The dance is not a regular rehearsal for the traditional Mexicans but inculcate a fusion of the two styles emerging at last as collaborative force.

A record of the dialogues shared with the children of this mixed race is presented in the dances. This traditional fusion is also depicted in the cremation practices. It is registered that “Even though the mothers were Catholic and the fathers were for the most part Sikh, they found a way to merge their traditions while still staying true to their religions. Like the story of a Sikh father who was cremated, and then his ashes laid to rest in the grave next to his wife.”

The couples shared eternal love based on joyful intermingling of their professions and a mutual love for dance. While talking of the communication they would share it is said that “Foreign language is an apt metaphor for the show’s deeper meaning, because these couples didn’t share a native language — they communicated through English.”

a Punjabi-Mexican family
a Punjabi-Mexican family

The dancers from both the troupes try to learn each other’s dance form by learning a certain gesture one day or a different move another. The artistic director of Duniya surprisingly tells of this crucial juncture in the crossing of these cultures as being negotiated for a long time. Herself being an offspring of this race, she considers it to be a significant part in the lives if these Mexican-Indian.

Megha is a student at the University of Delhi. She is pursuing her Masters in English and has also done her studies in German Language. Twitter: @meghash06510344

  • Manthra koliyer

    Dance has united many nations together!!

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Let Us Celebrate The Diversity In India: Mahesh Bhatt

Mahesh Bhatt and Shahrukh Khan stress on the diversity in India

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Diversity
Film maker Mahesh Bhatt emphasizes on celebrating diversity. Wikimedia Commons

Film maker Mahesh Bhatt and Bollywood Badshah Shah Rukh Khan on Friday stressed on celebrating India’s diversity, with the auteur also lashing out against those imposing their language on the people.

“These are dangerous times. In the age of highest connectivity we are the most divided. That’s why we need story tellers to tell stories which can bring us all together. The glue that held mankind together has withered,” Bhatt said at the inauguration of the 25th Kolkata International Film Festival here.

He said it was high time filmmakers realise their responsibility to ‘whip up’ hopes of a better tomorrow, in a scenario where the “structures all around us globally are collapsing”.

“I think the story tellers must do what mamas did at home. When the house fought and children fell apart mama would bring us all together by telling us the fascinating story that kindled hope. That’s what we are celebrating here today,” he said.

Bhatt said the leaders of mankind have no solution for the problems that stare at people. “It is we film makers, we story tellers, we artists who are generous people, Who will whip out from our hearts the idea of a better tomorrow, and then point in the direction and compel people to walk in that direction”.

Diversity
King Khan expects stories that bring us together and celebrate our diversity to be made. Wikimedia Commons

Referring to ascetics Ramakrishna Paramahansa, Swami Vivekananda and Sister Nivedita, he said the great seers and sages of the country had said underlined the need to ‘speak to man in his language’.

“Don’t impose your language on people. This is a great country. And its greatness lies in its diversity. Let us celebrate this diversity,” he said, adding “As long as film makers are there, as long as artists are there, we will dare to hope and defy those who tell us to speak only one language”.

Shah Rukh in his speech hoped that wonderful films with great stories would continue to be made.

“We keep on making these wonderful films, have great stories to tell, and like Bhatt sab said, stories that will bind us together, bring us together, and celebrate our diversity, instead of questioning one another’s individuality,” he added.

Also Read- Bollywood Megastar Amitabh Bachchan Completes Five Decades in B-town

Later, in her speech, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee praised Bhatt for being “very outspoken”. “When so many people are in fear, Mahesh ji expresses his mind candidly,” she said. (IANS)