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‘It felt good!’: Surrey boy dances with Punjabi star Diljit Dosanjh at ‘historic’ concert

Dad of the 6-year-old posted video on social media
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Diljit Dosanjh on stage with Surrey resident Aanakh Bhuller, 6, at BC Place Stadium on April 27, 2024. (Image: Diljit Dosanjh/Facebook)

One Surrey boy will have concert memories of a lifetime after dancing on stage with Punjabi pop star Diljit Dosanjh in Vancouver.

For six-year-old Aanakh Bhuller, the special moment happened April 27 at a sold-out BC Place Stadium.

Aanakh was at the concert with family when Dosanjh invited him on stage in front of close to 50,000 roaring fans, and then bhangra-danced to the song Vibe.

“It felt good, I do bhangra practice, so it wasn’t hard, and he’s my favourite singer,” Aanakh said in a post on Surrey Schools’ website.

Aanakh’s news-making performance was the talk of the school at Sullivan Elementary, where he’s in Grade 1.

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Diljit Dosanjh gifts Aanakh his jacket. (Image: Barinder Bhuller/Twitter/X)

On social media, proud father Barinder Bhuller posted photos of Aanakh performing and wearing a skeleton jacket that Dosanjh had gifted his son.

“As a first-generation Canadian, we never got to see our cultural icons and performers in mainstream stadiums,” Bhuller said. “To see how Aanakh idolizes Diljit, and then to see him become a part of this show, has been overwhelming.”

Dosanjh kicked off his Dil-Luminati Tour at BC Place, making history as the first Indian artist to headline a show at the stadium and the biggest Punjabi concert to take place outside of India, according to Live Nation Entertainment. The 13-date tour includes a July 13 concert at Rogers Centre in Toronto.

• RELATED STORY: Surrey connections to ‘Umbrella’ hit song by Indian pop star/actor Diljit Dosanjh.

Neesha Hothi, publicist for the annual 5X Fest in Surrey and Vancouver, says the local South Asian community is swelling with pride over Dosanjh.

“Selling out BC Place goes far beyond an accomplishment, it is a shift in time for the entire community,” Hothi wrote to Black Press Media. “This history-making experience did something far beyond his contemporaries.”

Dosanjh is bringing together generations, she contends.

“When grandparents, parents and grandchildren are all attending a concert together, it speaks to the mass appeal of Diljit Dosanjh. As children got dressed for the concert (April 27), they asked if they could wear turbans, a religious and cultural sign of significance to Sikhs worldwide. Diljit has sparked an interest from the next generation around their culture, religion and heritage.

“The positive influence he is providing for South Asian youth by following his dreams is undeniable. Diljit is heralded as an iconic representation of the community, showing us all that our dreams, South Asian dreams, can also come true.”

This year’s 5X Fest is planned June 13-16, with the festival’s flagship Blockparty at Surrey Civic Plaza on Saturday, June 15. Details are posted on https://www.5xfest.com.

• READ MORE: Surrey now a global home of ‘modern-day South Asian music, one with a more urban sound’

• READ ALSO: New 91 North Records to focus on Canadian artists’ blend of Indian, Western sounds



Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news stories for the Surrey Now-Leader, where I've worked for more than half of my 30-plus years in the newspaper business.
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