Nova Scotia

These bhangra dancers know how to deal with Canadian winters

If only we could all shovel snow like this!

The Maritime Bhangra Group's latest video is a lighthearted romp in the snow

The Maritime Bhangra Group posted a video on their Facebook page of their dancers performing at Peggys Cove. They gave Information Morning hosts Don Connolly and Louise Renault a dance lesson. 1:27

This might just be the best way to get through a Canadian winter.  

The members of the Maritime Bhangra Group were inspired by the snowfall in Halifax this week to grab their shovels and ... dance.

They posted the video on Facebook and it was viewed more than 500,000 times in just one day.

Bhangra is a dance of joy, say brothers Hasmeet and Kunwardeep Singh who helped found the group. It originates from the agricultural province of Punjab as a celebration of the harvest.

And what's the secret to bhangra?

"You need to enjoy it," said Hasmeet, 26, who is studying for a master's degree in computer science at Dalhousie University. 

"If you are feeling better from dancing, you can express that through your expressions, through your face, through your body language."

Bhangra meets Facebook

The brothers and the rest of their group have taken bhangra to a whole new level in the age of Facebook.   

In September, they posted a video of their group dancing at scenic Peggys Cove, N.S. So far, that video has been viewed a whopping 1.6 million times on Facebook.

This week, they decided to do a video featuring something many Canadians can relate to: shovelling snow. 

"We wanted to make people happy," Hasmeet said. "We never thought it would be such a big hit."

Warm response

He said he's been overwhelmed by the positive response on Facebook.

"We get messages from people saying they have depression and they feel much better after watching the videos," he said. 

Hasmeet said the group aims to use the popularity of their videos to encourage people to give back to their communities. In their most recent video post, they encourage people to donate to the ALS Society of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

Hasmeet said the importance of helping others is something he learned from his late father, who was a social worker in Punjab. The Singh brothers came to Canada to study at Dalhousie.

"Whatever we learn, whatever we do is from this community, so we have to give back," he said.