|39 weeks ago I read a theory that going for 50 coffees with people you’ve never met is the entrepreneur’s equivalent to the theory that doing anything for 10,000 hours will make you an expert on it. While I get the idea, 50 coffees is far easier than practicing something for ten years, and while I’m far from lazy I decided to set out on a fairly simple mission: over 50 weeks I’m inviting 50 interesting Vancouverites, most of whom I have never met before, to go for coffee. I’m using this as an exercise in networking for myself and for V.I.A. while also using it as a platform to introduce you to some people who are doing really cool stuff in the city you live in.
Meet Mo Dhaliwal. Co-founder of a digital agency called Skyrocket, Director of the Alliance for Arts and Culture and the founder of the Vancouver International Bhangra Celebration. Mo and I had crossed paths at Creative Mornings a few weeks back at the W2 Cafe and returned there today to chat over ginger ale.
As we got into conversation we shortly discovered that we had both been in the dot com bubble in the early 2000’s and that we had both moved to California around the same time and had come back to Vancouver with a newfound appreciation for it. I had previously invited him to write an “introduction to Bhangra” for V.I.A. readers as he is pretty much the local expert on the subject but instead he wanted to impress on me what it is, so that I can share it with you.
Literally, Bhangra is “a Punjabi-style of dance”. Mo told me that it’s inspired by natural rhythm, that it’s rooted in the idea that whatever our bodies choose to do when we hear music, that is Bhangra, and it made me think back about the first time I saw my son moving to music. Young Arlo had just begun to stand, assisted by holding on to things, and as one of his new toys blasted out a song he had never heard before, he just started to move. It was a moment I will never forget, not only because it was the first time I saw my son dance but it was when I realized that we aren’t taught to do that; dance comes naturally to us. When I told this to Mo he said “That’s exactly it; happy kids understand Bhangra!”, and I understood it a little better.
I still don’t totally get it though. I get the idea of it but it’s going to take me attending one of HSBC’s City of Bhangra‘s events in the next week to really get a grasp on it and an appreciation for it. I encourage you to do the same.
As a side note, the Vancouver International Bhangra Celebration Society (VIBC) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to elevating and promoting the Indian dance form of Bhangra. Their first mission is to “Show the world the awesomeness of Bhangra”. That is awesome.