Bollywood, why it’s not bhangra

Bollywood, why it’s not bhangra

Two ideas lumped together, that shouldn’t even be in the same category.

If I was given money for the number of people that have asked me, “Oh bhangra, is that like Bollywood?” I’d probably have enough money to create my own country.


No bhangra, is not like Bollywood. Here are some reasons why they are not only different, but are so different they shouldn’t be in the same category. This isn’t just about comparing or grouping apples and oranges. It’s like comparing apples and earrings.

Bhangra is music. Bollywood is movies.
You wouldn’t compare Rock with Hollywood, that doesn’t make sense does it?

The artists of bhangra are singers and producers. The stars of Bollywood are actors.
Any musicians, as well as producers, writers and so on, are considered behind the screen supporting talent.

Bhangra is sung mostly in the Punjabi language. Bollywood movies are mostly spoken and sung in Hindi.
Two different languages.

Bhangra is created by artists and producers from countries like India, Pakistan, the UK, the US, Canada, Malaysia, Australia and more. Bollywood is almost entirely made in India.
Important geographical distinction.

The heartland of bhangra is roughly where the cities of Lahore and Amritsar are. The heartland of Bollywood is Mumbai, which is 2,000 kilometres away.
They are as far apart as Madrid and Frankfurt. Punjabi and Marathi culture is just as different as Spanish and German.

In terms of revenue, bhangra is tiny compared to Bollywood. Bhangra music, and music videos are produced on a shoestring budget, compared to Bollywood movies and their associated soundtrack music.
This explains why many successful bhangra stars, often are recruited into Bollywood, which just adds to the confusion.

That information helps you recognise how Bollywood is nothing to do with bhangra, it shouldn’t even part of the same categorisation method.


This article is part of the Instruct Pungra certification course.

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