Gurdeep Pandher has been spreading messages of joy, hope, and inclusivity around the world through his viral YouTube videos and speaking engagements. Most of those videos, which have been hugely popular around the world, feature
Gurdeep Pandher, a Sikh-Canadian, is best known for his videos of him dancing Bhangra– the traditional folk dance of Punjab – outdoors in the breathtaking Yukon wilderness. Over time, his posts went viral and his work has been featured on CBC Yukon, CBC National, CTV National News, Buzzfeed, The Huffington Post, SBS Australia, and many other platforms. Even Canadian embassies abroad shared his works to showcase the wonderful side of multiculturalism that is currently present in Canada.
On his YouTube channel he also talks about his philosophy of joy, hope, positivity, and inclusivity for healing and optimism.
AM: Why do you think your videos are so popular in Canada and around the world?
GP: The combination of bhangra and the Yukon is an interesting one. You can easily imagine someone dancing bhangra in Vancouver or Toronto, but not in the Yukon. It’s unexpected. Only 40,000 people live here, and there’s not much diversity. Then you have the natural beauty of this area and the fact that my videos focus on uplifting people.
AM: You are Sikh. Can you tell me how bhangra connects to Sikhism?
GP: This dance form doesn’t have any connection with Sikhism as a religion, but it does have a connection with Sikhism as a culture. You don’t find people dancing bhangra while performing any religious thing, but you will find people dancing bhangra when there’s a non-religious gathering happening — like a wedding or birthday party. After harvesting wheat crops, our people used to dance bhangra to celebrate and show gratitude to the land.