Dhad Sarangi
Dhadi Jatha Amar Singh Shonki Biography
Amar Singh Shaunki (Punjabi: ਅਮਰ ਸਿੰਘ ਸ਼ੌਂਕੀ), also spelled as Amar Singh Shonki, was a very well known Dhadi singer of East Punjab (India). People travelled miles to listen to him. Shaunki was born as Amar Singh on 15 August 1916, in a Sikh family to father Sardar Moola Singh, in the village of Bhajjlan (now Hoshiarpur district) in British Punjab (British India). He hailed from a mediocre farmer family and never went to school but learned Punjabi (Gurmukhi) from the other educated persons. He got married and have three sons, Sawraj Singh, Jaspal Singh and Pargat Singh He was very much interested in folk music from his childhood and learned it from Sant Baba Maan Singh of Sialkot. At first he sang under last name Mast but as started singing with Dhadd and Sarangi and made a team with Sarwan Singh and Mohan Singh Binda, he fixed Shaunki as his last name.The main themes of his songs evokes the culture and folk of Punjab. He sang about every color of Punjabi folk. The main themes of his songs were the evergreen folk stories of Punjab like Heer Ranjha, Mirza Sahiban, Sassui Punnhun, Rani Sundran and Pooran Bhagat, heroes of Sikh history likes Hari Singh Nalwa, the Sikh masters and other freedom fighters. He wrote songs on various topics including the four tragic love stories of Punjab, Sikh history like Saka Sirhind and Sikh heroes. Many Punjabi singers today, including Manmohan Waris and Kamal Heer sings songs written by him. People of his village Bhajjlan organized a fair, Dhadi Amar Singh Shaunki Sabhyacharak Mela every year in his memory. Punjabi singers from all around the world participates in the fair and pays tribute to the late Dhadi.
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