An Evening With Danish Punjabi Singer Anita Lerche

Dutch performer raises money for Indian children with Kirtan and Punjabi songs.


A Dazzling Presentation by Danish Punjabi Singer Anita Lerche

Indianapolis, Indiana USA

“An Evening Celebrating Christel House India featuring Danish Punjabi Singer Anita Lerche” to raise funds for the Christel House Schools for underprivileged children in Bangalore and Lavasa in India was a tremendous success. The event took place on December 17, 2013. The star guest was the Danish Punjabi singer, songwriter and actress Anita Lerche, known in Punjabi circles as the “Heer from Denmark.” Anita donated her time and talent to this worthy project of Christel DeHaan, the Founder of Christel House. The setting for this very intimate performance by Anita Lerche was the Cook Theatre located in a renovated historic Indianapolis landmark, now the headquarters of Indiana Landmarks. 


Anita was born in Golstrup and grew up in Herlev, both suburbs of Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark. In 2005, at the request of a friend, Gunar Muhlmann, she made a pilgrimage to the Kulu Valley and Manikaran in Himachal Pradesh, India. Something awakened deep inside her by the natural beauty- the sky, waterfalls, serenity, and spiritual aura of the place. During this visit, Anita was introduced to Punjabi culture and music by Anurag Sood and the late Rattan Singh Rajput at Hoshiarpur and Jalandhar.

Anita discovered an instant connection and intense passion for Punjabi music and folklore. "This is what I have been looking for.” Since then, Anita has made many trips to the Punjab to visit her teachers and friends and share her talents at Punjabi Melas, Sikh Temples, and festive presentations in India, Europe, Canada, and during this first visit to the USA. Anita released her first Album “Heer from Denmark” in 2006 to rave reviews from critics and her fans.

While in Indianapolis, Anita visited the Sikh Temple (Acton Road) and sang the sacred Hymn: “Mil Mayray Preetma Jiyo, Main Tudh Bin Khree Nimani: O My beloved, come and meet me; without You I am weak and lost” in a hauntingly beautiful rendition.


Anita looked radiant and carried an aura of a star. She was thoughtful and friendly, gracious and charming. She was dressed in bejeweled gold Punjabi outfit with attractive jewelry and stunning henna on her hands (MendhiByJanni). Anita began the evening in English with “You Have a Friend” and graduated into the Punjabi music anthem “Aaojee, Jee Aayan Noon,” a song that invites the whole world to a dance and a warm Punjabi welcome. Then she sang a few lines of a Punjabi favorite, “Luthhay Di Chadur Uttay Slatee Rung Mahiyya”; gave a moving rendition of Warish Shah’s epic ballad Heer-Ranja; and sang several popular Bhangra songs that gave us a glimpse of her talents and range across the spectrum of musical styles, languages, and dancing. Singing in Punjabi seemed to reveal a deep connection with her own spirit and an affirming response from the predominantly invitation-only Punjabi audience of about 250 guests. Shivajee from Chicago, a marvelous percussionist and Dholak player, provided live music for Anita during the Indianapolis Concert.

Anita identifies with exotic Punjabi culture, soil, folklore, and colorful people, much like a Punjaban, and engages the audience in Punjabi with ease and an innocent giggle, much like an accomplished performer. 

Anita felt “a loving energy radiated and filled the space.” Anita sees “all people with one heart… no boundaries… music has no boundaries” and thought “even non-Punjabis dressing in Punjabi outfits…and meeting and greeting as an excellent idea.” Anita’s singing and dance embody joyous exuberance. 

With Anita, it is all spontaneous, natural, and from the heart. Hands began to clap and feet began to tap as Anita sang with a delightful gusto from her already released albums and from her new album “Sadkay Punjab Toon,” a fusion album with three singles with videos that reflect the colors of India and Punjabi folklore that will delight 110-million Punjabis worldwide. 

Guests joined her on the stage for the Bhangra dance and she mingled with the audience and danced in the aisles. We felt transported by the happy rhythms of Punjab and inspired to see someone from the West master the words, beat, and robust and exotic moves so beautifully. The evening evoked many wonderful memories of our own childhood growing up in the Punjab.


Anita has captured the beat and rhythms of Punjabi heart and Bhangra dance like someone who has been a part of that culture for many lifetimes. She has mastered the dance moves, gestures, and facial expressions and can deliver the celebrated favorites of Warish Shah’s Heer-Ranja composition and the popular Punjabi folksongs with wit, with deep sensitivity and seriousness, lightheartedness, unbound energy, and skills of an accomplished performer. Anita loves to engage the audience and invite the audience to dance with her and be a part of the  evening and build a personal memory.


Anita is mesmerized by the raw energy, riot of colors, the undiscovered mystique of the Punjab and the ancient splendor and rich heritage of India. Punjab has captured her heart, almost like a long-lost love at first sight. Punjab: the land of five major rivers, is the Northwest Gateway to India that has witnessed and experienced the wind of cultures that came through that corridor beginning with Alexander the Great and on through the centuries with hordes of Muslims, Mongols, Moguls, and finally the British that annexed the Sikh Kingdom in 1845 into the British Empire. These events left a lasting imprint on the soul of the Punjab and the visible influences that are reflected in Punjabi music and dance, cultural texture, heritage, creativity, and lifestyle. From the repeated foreign invasions, conquests and occupation, and attempted subjugation emerged a rebellious and daring people who love freedom, cherish fun, work and play hard, and exude a sense of belonging and embracing of all 

We witness reflections of Punjabi boldness, openness, love and laughter, history and legends, and a deeply caring spirit in the sensational talent and persona of Anita Lerche, as if she had personally experienced and belonged to Punjabi culture and community in other lifetimes. This is one invasion from the West or the East that Punjabis proudly welcome, for this showcases and celebrates what the Punjabi culture and music has to offer to the entire 


Anita’s performance and interaction with the audience carried a spirit of genuineness, spontaneity, and an all-embracing spirit that has attracted the attention and admiration of Punjabis around the world. Anita feels connected to Punjab, but through her music connected to the world. She believes that “music is the universal language of all people and cultures.”


The Evening’s Program states: “Anita graduated from Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in London in 2001. She has sung in 16 languages and was the first non-Asian woman from the West to release an album in Punjabi. She has received many awards, including MH1 Punjabi Music Award for Best NRI Female Debut” and Danish 

World Music Award. For additional information:;




The Evening’s Program states: “Christel House is a force in global education and human transformation. It serves more than 4,000 students at learning centers located in India (Bangalore and Lavasa), Mexico (Mexico City), South Africa (Cape Town), and United States (Indianapolis).” At the Christel House India: “Student Attendance: 96%; Graduation: 98%; Graduates participating in Work-Study Program 95%,” an amazing testimony of success. For additional information and to support:


Indianapolis, Indiana USA <> <> December 21, 2013

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