Christine Meier has a unique attachment to Bollywood and Bhangra - the popular dance form originating in Punjab. Do you wonder why she has fallen in love with Bhangra straight from Denmark? Here she is in conversation with SBS Punjabi's Preetinder Grewal..
Christine Meier has a unique attachment to the Punjabi dance form of Bhangra.
With encouragement from local Indian and Danish community, she has just Bhangra coaching classes in Copenhagen and other major cities of Denmark.
“I must mention that I’m not appropriating the Punjabi culture, I’m celebrating it,” said Ms Meier in an interview with SBS Punjabi.
“When I do Bhangra, I get delighted with smiles and compliments from my admirers."
She told SBS Punjabi that she has been dancing since she could barely walk.
"I started with ballroom dancing. But with time I started other dance forms like belly dancing and Bollywood and folk fusion," she said.
“I was always fond of India and especially Punjab. I listened to Panjabi MC when he was a huge hit here in Europe. I would go all crazy to his music when I was alone at home.
“When Bollywood movies started showing up in Europe, I just couldn't stop watching them. I would buy the music and force my friends to dance on those choreographies and children's parties."
Ms Meier said she had a dream of going to India and 'dance like no one watching'.
"I must admit, I only understand 10% of the lyrics. But it doesn't matter to me, I dance to the beat,” she said.
"Things have happened so fast. By coincidence, I took classes in Bhangra. I YouTubed it and just fell in love. I downloaded the music, although didn't understand a word," she said.
"When I got the chance to go to Mumbai for Bollywood and Bhangra classes I met Micky Singh, who is my Bhangra mentor. I was impressed by his energy and I couldn't get enough of the steps and the music.”
Ms Meier said that ever since he first visit to India, Bhangra has become her passion and integral part of life.
"I can't stop myself from sharing it with other people. That's why started doing Bhangra workshops," she added. “In India, I first started my career as a gym trainer. Since then I've been taking classes both in Denmark and India.”
“I embrace all cultures and always wished the world to be a closely-knit multicultural society, while it is not!"
But it is not 'all praise' all the time, Ms Meier often gets some messages which are not to her likings.
At times, there are certain hard-core Bhangra lovers who want everything in an authentic way. But the world is an ever-changing phenomenon, and let Bhangra be part of it," she said.
“The world is getting smaller day by day. Why can’t we celebrate the commonalities we have - let it be music, dance, our passions, our smiles, and much more," she said.
"Let’s celebrate whichever parts of it that we love, no matter if it is something native to our lands or not."