Almost every culture has a unique way of expressing joy and excitement. Here are some of the ones I am familar with:
"Woo-hoo!" in the American culture
"Ole!" in Spanish culture
"Bravo!" in Italian culture
"Lalalalalala!" in Arabic culture
"Opa!" in Greek culture
And of course, in my culture, "Balle Balle!" means "Woo-hoo!"
This is a Punjabi expression from the northern part of India, derived from folk music called Bhangra.
When I created Masala Bhangra — the first ever Indian dance fitness program — I
knew I had something special. Whenever we shout out "Balle Balle!"
it excites me for two reasons:
1) I get to share a part of my culture with my students
2) It's become a unifying expression of joy, magnified throughout the 20 years
of Masala Bhangra's existence
Over the years, "Balle Balle" has been spelled every which way on social media – "Bulle Bulle," "Baila Baila," or "Bale Bale." And some people have even thought it was my name!
At the Orlando Fitness convention, I taught a huge master class to a crowd of 1000 people. I was on a high listening to everyone shout out "Balle Balle!" in unison. You could feel the vibration and the energy in the room. It was magical. After that session, I came down to the lobby to chill with the attendees. And all of a sudden, people shouted, "Hey Balle Balle, you rocked!" or "Great class, Balle Balle!" Who would have ever thought that I would help make this Indian expression so popular??
Following that experience, I traveled to Norway to teach Masala Bhangra and share my culture. Every time we would shout "Balle Balle!" everyone would chuckle. I didn’t get it. Finally, I asked a student who told me, “Balle Balle in the Norwegian language means "Balls!" OMG. I died. Talk about a cultural exchange you won't soon forget! LOL
You are probably wondering why am I sharing all of this with you. With the recent events that have shaken up our country, it’s more important than ever to recognize that culture matters and people matter. Every culture has a joyous expression that brings communities together. I found a way to use mine to change the world
; I hope you can find yours.
Want to experience this cultural expression for yourself? Come take a virtual class
Your cultural energizer,