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Now, a Punjabi-French Canadian folk album

The album, Ble d'Inde has been launched by two folk singers - an Indo-Canadian Sikh and a French Canadian in Toronto.

india Updated: Oct 27, 2006 19:38 IST

Two folk singers - an Indo-Canadian Sikh and a French Canadian - have launched what must rank as the world's first Punjabi-French Canadian album, Ble d'Inde.

Kuljit Sodhi and Yves Lambert have collaborated in the new album in which the two men sing praises of brotherhood to each other in their respective languages.

Blé d'Inde literally means Indian wheat but is the name given to the multi-coloured corn cultivated by native Americans.

The name also refers to traditional celebrations held in Quebec kitchens at harvest time, when friends and family gather to share a meal, play music and dance.

The music of the new album ranges from the two Indo-Quebecois pieces to the festive traditional-style bhangra number and a jazzy English-language folk song.

"I am saying in Punjabi that I came to this country and the sounds that I hear are so similar to where I come from, Yves comes back and says, 'Welcome, my good friend, you are at home'," Sodhi told the Sun newspaper about the new album.

Sodhi was born in Amritsar, and migrated to Canada with his family when he was just eight.

He grew up in Montreal singing temple music but was greatly influenced by traditional French Canadian tunes.

"I always had this feeling that these songs (French Canadian tunes) resemble Punjabi folk songs," he said.

Sodhi is the leader of a four-member band called Galitcha (tapestry), which has been performing since 1998. He sings in Punjabi, Urdu and Hindi with explanations in English and/or French.

Lambert is a member of a popular Quebec folk group called La Bottine Souriante.

First Published: Oct 27, 2006 19:35 IST