Kikli or Kikkli - The colorful female dance from Punjab regions of the Indian Sub-continent

Kikli or Kikkli - The colorful female dance from Punjab regions of the Indian Sub-continent


The young girls of the Indian Sub-continent, particular in the Punjabi territories of Pakistan and India have a popular charming traditional dance in which they tightly hold the arms of each other and move round and round in a rhythmic pattern while singing a popular Punjabi folk song, “kikli kaleer di”. This is a form of dance, usually performed by two girls twirling in a circle with exuberant movements. The common traditional song lines are as under;

“Kikli kleer dee,
Pagg mere veer dee,
Dubatta meray bhai da,
Fitte mounh jawai daa.”
Kikli or Kikkli: Popular traditional dance of Punjabi girls
Kikli or Kikkli: Popular traditional dance of Punjabi girls

This scintillating cultural feature of Punjab is more than a dance. Kikli or Kikkli was enjoyed by the young Punjabi girls as a sport where they gathered in a social room and performed this dance in form of pairs. Two girls came forward and the accompanying girls cheering them up with passionate slogans, songs while clapping. The two participants stood face to face and placed their feet close to each other’s and their bodies inclined back. The basic rule was to hold tight the hands of each other and to stretch arms while arching the backs to the extreme limit. In this glorious pose, the girls used to move around fast while continuing in the same style. Their feet were the key central point where they were placed firmly.

Two girls dance Kikli and the accompanying girls cheering them up with passionate slogans, songs while clapping.Photo  by brendan.lally....away
Two girls dance Kikli and the accompanying girls cheering them up with passionate slogans, songs while clapping.Photo by brendan.lally….away

It is a stunning view while seeing the girls performing Kikli dance in which they are dressed up in typical brilliant colored Punjabi outfits and as they whirl around; their ‘daupttas’ are flickering in the air while their anklets produce tinkling melodies. Kikli or Kikkli which is a popular traditional dance of Punjabi girls is still traditionally significant in the Sikh community of the Indian Punjab, where they display the same in the joyous celebrations and in other ceremonial events.

Kikli or Kikkli - The colorful female dance from Punjab regions of the Indian Sub-continent
Kikli or Kikkli – The colorful female dance from Punjab regions of the Indian Sub-continent

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