Monday, May 25, 2015

Festival celebrates Punjabi culture

Bright colors swirled across the stage to the vibrant, up-tempo rhythms of Bhangra music at the 21st annual Punjabi American Festival.
The celebration of Punjabi culture began with Bhangra and Giddha teams from around the North State and closed with international music acts as an estimated 12,000 people attended the event on Sunday at the Yuba-Sutter Fairgrounds.
Headlined by Miss Pooja, one of the best-selling female Bhangra artists in the world, and fast-rising singer Ammy Virk, the festival aims to have something for everybody, said Tej Maan, Chairman of the Punjabi American Heritage Society.
"Everyone has a different reason for being here," Maan said. "Some come for the music, food, shopping or because they know somebody performing."
Another big draw this year is a visit from Brian Murphy, a police officer who was shot 15 times defending a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisc., in 2012. A documentary about the shooting, which left three worshipers dead, was shown at the festival.
Through his interactions with the Sikh community after the shooting, Murphy began raising awareness for a faith many Americans know little about. That message goes hand-in-hand with the purpose of the Punjabi festival, Maan said.
"When we started the festival, we had two purposes in mind," Maan said. "To pass the culture on to the youth and to bridge the gap in the mainstream community."
with thanks : appeal-democrat : LINK : for detailed report

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