Barack boogies to Bhangra

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DJ Rekha
DJ Rekha

Narayan Lakshman

Washington: There is a deep bond between United States President Barack Obama and India's own Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and it has nothing to do with civilian nuclear cooperation. It can be summed up in two words — bhalle, bhalle!

The Commander-in-Chief of the most powerful army in the world revealed a Punjabi passion this week when he and his staffers partied to Bhangra, the music of Dr. Singh's home state.

At a reception celebrating Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Mr. Obama and his team were entertained by DJ Rekha — a.k.a. Rekha Malhotra — who rocked the White House with her eclectic East-West fusions.

And the President obviously loved it. Speaking after the event he had high praise for Rekha for “spinning a little East Room Bhangra for everybody — mixing a hip-hop beat with the sounds of her heritage; making a uniquely American sound that may not have been heard in the White House before.”

Described variously as the “ambassador of Bhangra” by the New York Times and as one of the most influential South Asians by Newsweek, DJ Rekha is known for merging “classic Bhangra and Bollywood sounds into the language of contemporary electronic dance music.”

The next step for Mr. Obama, if Michelle approves, may be Makhi ki roti and Sarson ka saag.

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