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YouTube star Gurdeep Pandher draws on Sikh faith as he dances for joy

The work I’ve been doing to make these videos, it’s not just entertainment. It’s more like a social service,’ said Pandher. (RNS) — During a time of global despair brought on by pandemic, one grinning man charmed millions with his exuberant performance of a Punjabi folk dance set against majestic Yukon backdrops.
Gurdeep Pandher, a Sikh-Punjabi Canadian, first went viral in 2016 when he shared a video of himself dancing Bhangra for Canada Day. “I just posted the video on my social media to show to my friends, but around 300,000 people watched it,” said Pandher. “That was the first time I experienced the shock and surprise of social media magic.”
Since then, Pandher, who lives in a remote cabin in the Yukon, has become an international YouTube sensation. He views the dance videos as a way to spread positivity and cross-cultural understanding — a calling he’s especially taken seriously since March 2020.
A March 2, 2021, video of Pandher, with his signature animated grin, dancing on a frozen lake after getting his first dose of the COVID vaccine has more than 3 million views on Twitter. Collectively, his videos have been watched more than 50 million times. In September, he was featured on YouTube billboards across Canada that read, “Taught people to dance. Moved the whole country.”

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