Whilst the deracination of affluent urban Indian youth continues apace, some of India’s homegrown pop icons are flaunting their Indian identity on the global stage. Central to this identity is their clothing – no more denims jeans & jackets for our popstars; enter traditional Indian wear with a designer edge:
“Punjabi pop sensation Diljit Dosanjh created history on 16 April by becoming the first Indian-born singer to perform at California’s Coachella Valley Arts and Music Festival….But even before his 45-minute electrifying performance, what stood out was his choice of attire and that he greeted the audience with Sat Sri Akal, the traditional Sikh salutation….

Dosanjh stepped on stage in a black silk kurta and ‘tamba’, a traditional draped bottom worn by men in Punjab. He added a utility black jacket and a pair of white and grey Nike Air Jordan sneakers to the otherwise ethnic attire. The edgy element was a pair of yellow gloves and the signature retro-style sunglasses that Dosanjh wears in many of his videos and performances. A statement black turban with a crisp fan completed the look for the star as he belted out Punjabi numbers.

In his trademark style, he also announced that “the Punjabis have now reached Coachella”. He asked the audience to groove to the vibe, even if they could not understand the lyrics or meaning of his songs—another crucial moment where the experience was not translated for a White audience.”

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