Danish Heer Again
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DRESSED in a striking red and white lehenga-choli, jewellery and layers of make-up, complete with a "sat sri akal" greeting and a smile on her face, Anita Lerche welcomed everyone with a song from her second album, Sadke Punjab Ton. Had it not been for her blonde hair, fair skin and a distinct European accent, Lerche could've passed off as a vivacious Punjaban. "I've been living in Hoshiarpur and Jalandhar for the last four years," says the singer from Denmark who has trained in music and theatre from the UK and sings in 16 different languages including Italian, German, Latin, French, Chinese, African, Argentinian and Swedish. "I just love different cultures and languages, travelling and meeting people, exploring new places and their arts," said Lerche, during the launch of her album at Press Club, Sector 26. It was in 2005 that a trip to India took her to Himachal Pradesh where she picked Himachali songs and then also travelled to Punjab. "I heard the traditional folk song of Punjab, Lathe di chadar, and was floored. I had to know more, and I decided to stay on," said Lerche, who cancelled her concerts in Europe to devote herself to learning Punjabi music. She came out with her first album Heer from Denmark in 2006, and Sadke Punjab Ton is her way of celebrating the Punjabi culture. A cheerful personality, Lerche breaks into a Punjabi number every few minutes. "I've been singing since I was seven, but Punjab holds a special place in my heart. I love its folklore, its green fields, people, music, dance and food, and this is my way of saying thank you," she added. Lerche will also lend her voice to a song called Mela in Deepak Orchaney's film Jackpot Pe Jackpot, followed by a shabad album and several other interesting projects. Sadke Punjab Ton's video has been directed by Harjit Singh and Param Shiv.