Tag Archives | Pakistan

Playing Kabaddi across a thousand miles

Earlier this week we learned about Kabaddi, a sport that’s extraordinarily popular in South Asia but is less-than-familiar to most of our kids in the West. This week in our online class we’re going to play it, at least in conceptual terms, across the video wires. If I pretend to be the raider and you pretend to be the defenders, we may not be able to do all the fancy tackling real kabaddi players get to do, but at least we’ll be able to learn the basics of the sport. And, the most fun — we can all hold our breath and say, “KABADDI!”

Hold Your Breath and Scream KABADDI

Kabaddi is now our favorite sport. When you play it, it will absolutely become yours too….

Popular in Pakistan, India, and all around South Asia, Kabaddi ombines all the best elements of chasing, tagging, wrestling and holding your breath while you repeat a word that essentially means, in Tamil, “to hold hands.” This video will introduce you to the sport and to some of its basic rules. This video will show you how it’s done.

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan is “Lost in His Work”

PakistaniMusic.com has called revered Qawwali music icon Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan “the Bob Marley of Pakistan” and “the Elvis of the East.” Both of those nicknames actually underestimate Khan’s power and — though this is not a technical music term — overall awesomeness.

Nasrat Fateh Ali Khan became known well beyond Pakistan in the ’80s and ’90s through his compilations with Peter Gabriel and his contributions to the film soundtracks of “Last Temptation of Christ,” “Dead Man Walking,” “Natural Born Killers” and “Jackass: The Movie.”  (Kidding about that last one.  Just want to see if you’re  paying attention.)  See this rocking video of Khan performing the Pakistani Sufi classic “Mustt Mustt  (Lost in His Work).”

A Pleasure to Meet in Pakistan

All Around This World South Asia map featuring Pakistan

This week’s online class takes us to infinitely-complex South Asian nation of Pakistan, a nation whose many electrifying genres of music tell the tale of the country’s geographic location at a crossroads between South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. This week we’ll enjoy Pakistani songs in Pashto, Farsi, Urdu and Punjabi, music that just as effortlessly sends us a thousand years into the Sufi past as it keeps us in tune with the global rock sounds of today.

Sukhshinder Shinda and Jazzy B

Sukhshinder Shinda and Jazzy B., take us to Pakistan…!

Our South and Central Asian season of online classes will take us to Pakistan, where modern musicians who find inspiration in ancient folk forms aren’t content with keeping such cool sounds to themselves. In this video Sukhshinder Shinda and Jazzy B sing their hearts out in the style of bhangra, a modern international music based on Punjabi folk.

Happy Happy Joy Joy

If you’re ever feeling low, watch this video of jhoomer bhangra dancers from Khalsa College in the Indian state of Punjab and I promise you’ll feel better.

We end our South and Central Asia bonus week with pure bliss.  In fact, I know you’re sad that this is truly our last day of adventures in South and Central Asia — we start our new online class season tomorrow. So watch the jhoomer bhangra dancers in this video, give yourself a boost, and watch them again. I’ll see you tomorrow, on the other side.


Bhangra 101

Bhangra dancing is the BEST.

Bhangra is an exuberant form of folk music and accompanying acrobatic dance that is based on traditional folk songs of Punjab, a region that straddles the border between Pakistan and India. Bhangra became an international phenomenon when South Asian immigrants in the United Kingdom infused it with Western musics like electronica and pop. Do you want master bhangra dancing? The internet is ready to help. The best “how-to bhangra” videos — like this one, our favorite — will even teach you the names of the steps.

From Lahore With Love — the Sachal Jazz Ensemble

We end our week of Pakistani exploration by meeting te Sachal Jazz Ensemble, a Pakistani musical sensation that embodies the hope of this complex South Asian nation

The 2016 documentary The Sachal Ensemble — Song of Lahore tells the tale of how the Sachal Jazz Ensemble overcame conservative religious oppression as it achieved international success, integrating traditional Pakistani music with the best of global jazz. Good news from Pakistan? Yes!

Basant Kite Festival

Every spring in the Pakistani city of Lahore, thousands and thousands and thousands of revelers celebrate the holiday of Basant by flying kites.

Basant — also known in Pakistan and throughout South Asia as, among other things, Vasant Panchami, is a Hindu springtime festival of knowledge, renewal and joy. Whether during basant your family celebrates Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of learning and the arts, or Kama, the Hindu god of love, if you find yourself in Lahore make sure you bring your kite and embrace the spring as it soars. 

Basic Bhangra

Bhangra dancing is pure joy.

The exuberant form of folk music and accompanying acrobatic dance is electric blend of old and new. Based on traditional folk songs of Punjab, a region that straddles the Pakistan/India border, bhangra became an international phenomenon when South Asian immigrants in the United Kingdom infused it with Western musics like electronica and pop. Watch this video, or, heck, any bhangra video worth its salt, and if you’re not up out of your seat and dancing…well, maybe you’re not worth your salt.