An old adage reads: sing like no one’s listening, dance like no one’s watching. On the contrary, Yukon-based Gurdeep Pandher hopes everyone sees his dances live or virtually. Pandher is a world-renowned Bhangra dance artist and instructor, with over 250,000 followers on social media, and collectively his performances have been watched over fifty million times on various platforms. In addition, Pandher’s work has been amplified by The Governor-General of Canada, Canadian High Commissions, and Department of Canadian National Defence, just to name a few.
What is Bhangra?
It’s a traditional dance of Punjabi/Sikh farmers for joy and optimism. Pandher uses this style of dance to bring happiness and positivity to Canadians, especially during the pandemic. Farmwork to Feed Canada is so fortunate to have partnered with Pandher for Food Day Canada celebrations. He is performing a Bhangra dance to celebrate Canadian farmers and wish them a safe and bountiful growing season.
Growing up in Punjab
Pandher’s connection to farming stretches back many generations. He was born into a farming family in a village called Siahar in Punjab. Punjab is a state of India, located in the northwestern part of the subcontinent. On his family farm, they grew crops, vegetables and beans and raised cows and buffaloes for milk. With his farming roots, Pandher knows all the hard work, dedication and commitment that farmers require to produce food. Working and playing outside throughout his childhood also fostered a love and passion for nature.
As he grew up and to this day, writing is a constant in his life. He enjoys writing poetry and stories. He was a two-time published author of non-fiction books by age 23! Dancing has also been a huge part of Pandher’s life since he was a child. At 17 years of age, he took professional Bhangra classes in Ludhiana, Punjab. His love of dancing has only grown, and it is now a part of his lifestyle.
In his mid-twenties, Pandher immigrated to Squamish, BC in 2006 and has lived in many Canadian cities, towns, and villages, including Vancouver, Abbotsford, Saskatoon, Edmonton, North Battleford, Turtleford, Lloydminster, Yellowknife, and now, Whitehorse. Pandher has explored Canada’s vast landscape on various road trips throughout the years. Pandher became a Canadian citizen in 2011 and ever since has committed to learning more about the country, its land, and its people.
Since moving to and settling in the Yukon in 2012, Pandher dedicated his time to Bhangra and growing its presence in Canada. He has taught dance lessons to many communities across the country with the main objective to spread happiness, joy, and positivity. Many of his dance videos feature stunning scenery in the Yukon, which Pandher is grateful to experience every day. Also, Pandher acknowledges he lives in the traditional territory of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation, the Ta’an Kwäch’än Peoples, and respects the greatness of 14 Yukon First Nations.
Through dance and self-reflection, Pandher strives to live in the moment and live each day to the fullest. “Laugh at the confusion, live in the moment, and enjoy your life as it unfolds. You might not end up exactly where you intended to go, but you will arrive precisely where you need to be,” he says.
Through his free spirit and open-hearted approach to life, he spreads joy and hope to everyone he encounters. We hope that you enjoy this video and thank you to all the farmers who are committed to producing safe, quality, and nutritious food for Canadians. Happy Food Day Canada!
Farmwork to Feed Canada (F2FC) is a national volunteer not-for-profit initiative by Canadian communication professionals, students, and recent graduates in communications. F2FC collaborates with farmers, and agri-businesses amid COVID-19 pandemic-related challenges to Canada’s food supply and food security, to engage Canadians, pro bono, with compelling stories about their food system and build support for Canada’s farmers, food producers, and their essential skilled workers.