Bhangra is back for St. Patrick’s Day

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A group of Bhangra dancers whose performance stole hearts on St. Patrick’s Day are hoping to have another viral hit on their hands.

The video of Kanwar Shamrock Bhangra dancing to a fusion of dhol beats and Irish music garnered hundreds of thousands of views on social media last year.

This year they rehearsed their version of “Kerry Slides”, keeping it secret until tomorrow.

Kanwar Singh, one of three dancers who featured in last year’s hit routine, said: “Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day and embracing Irish culture is very important. Ireland and the India share the same color of flags and a similar history. Both cultures are family-oriented too.”

Kanwar started the group in 2012 with the aim of keeping the bhangra tradition alive within the South Asian diaspora in Ireland and reconnecting them to their roots.

Kanwar Singh founded the band Shamrock Bhangra in 2012

He said: “When I came to Ireland to study in 2001, a lot of people said we didn’t have much here about our culture. The growing generation misses certain aspects of our culture here in Ireland. I thought someone had to do something.

“In India, Bhangra dancing is normally done in the harvest month in April, called Vaisakhi. We chose the name Shamrock because it is Irish and represents what we are trying to do by blending two cultures.”

Members of the dance group Shamrock Bhangra dance to a fusion of dhol beats and Irish music

Kanwar, who started dancing Bhangra at age 12, organizes classes for children every week.

“When you move to another country, it’s very important to embrace the culture of that country while keeping your own. We are teaching children. We have 45 of them who belong to three different groups.”

One of the band’s newest members, Deeya Ghandi, said: “I only moved to Ireland two years ago. Coming here I not only embraced my culture but also a little I could see what a parade looks like, I could dress up and paint my face in Irish colors or something that represents St. Patrick’s Day and what Ireland means to me.

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