LIVINGSTON, Ca.: The place was right, the crowd was in the right mood and the organizers along with the touring party from Punjab missed no beat. It’s true, all that happened at the Portuguese Hall, where packed to capacity the local Punjabis filled the hall like once in a life time affair.
The tourists lived up to the expectations and leading singer Surinder Singh Shinda made people emotional when he sang about Bhagat Singh and Udham Singh. Sukhwant Kaur thrilled the audience with her typical Punjabi folk style. Mehar Mittal, the reigning comedian king of Punjabi films, lifted the audience to new heights of laughter. Along with Amarjit “Mama” they put the crowd to peels of uncontrollable laughter’s.
Daljeet Kaur, the leading heroine in many Punjabi films, was not only beautiful but one who captivated each and every one with her charm and poise.
The Bhangra team so ably led by Prof. Johal, stood out altogether distinct. Many among the crowd found the tunes and the thy them irritable and were spotted dancing with the Bhangra rhythem among the audience.
The value of culture was the main focus and below are the excerpts from the interviews with members of the touring party:
SURINDER SHINDA: “The culture of Punjab is truly great and to bring it to the notice of younger generation of Punjabis in U.S.A. and Canada is part of my mission”.
MEHAR MITTAL: “The government of Punjab should help to promote Punjabi Culture, like Punjabi films, songs, drama, folk dances like Giddha and Bhangra.”
DALJIT KAUR: When asked what Punjabi culture meant to her, this Punjabi girl brought up in West Bengal replied: “It means a lot. That’s why I am in Punjabi films. After coming to Punjabi films, I discovered that the way Punjab were being portrayed and presented through films was not really the true culture of Punjab, so I tried and keep on trying to make people realize and see what our Punjabi culture is all about. SUKHWANT KAUR: “Culture is a very big thing for us. The man goes but the culture stays. We must not criticize our old cultural values”.
AMARJIT “MAMA”: “The atmosphere here has been heartwarming and we feel as if we were in Punjab”.
SURINDER DHILLON: (Leading Bhangra Dancer):“We represent the feelings, emotions with actions and in the process remind our future generations the
folk stories of our forefathers”.
PROF. DALJINDER JOHAL, (Director Bhangra Team): “In this show we are performing Punjab’s Belle Dance and presenting the famous Heer Ranjha, and our aim is to revive the Mediveal Punjabi Culture and its history through song and dance form where vigor with speed and action gives our culture a new meaning”.
The local organizers of this show Avtar Pattar and Harinder Sihota of Turlock did a magnificent job and Mr. Surinder Bhambu of Toronto, the national promoter of the show is to be commended. Well done gentlemen, well done the people of Turlock and Livingston and well done all the artists who visited us from Punjab and renewed our cultural ties. It was a night that I shall remember for a long time.
Article extracted from this publication >> July 31, 1987