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Bhangra star encourages people to wear face masks on transit in B.C. (VIDEO)

Photo: TransLink

Gurdeep Pandher  is known for spreading joy and positivity through bhangra - a traditional form of dance from the Punjab region of India.

This summer, the Yukon resident took two months off work to travel British Columbia and to visit his parents, who live in Abbotsford. Along the way, the social media star took a side-trip to Vancouver Island that included a stop in Victoria and a visit to Long Beach.

Now, Pandher is helping TransLink encourage its customers to wear face masks or coverings through - you guessed it - the spirit of bhangra

Today, the transportation agency shared a video of Pandher dancing to its social media channels. In it, the dance instructor showcases his bhangra skills on the SkyTrain, on a bus, and outside of a SkyTrain Station. In all instances, he dons a navy-blue TransLink face mask.

"For those who are not wearing face masks on transit, I would like to say that please do it," says Pandher. "Wearing masks is very important."

Pandher goes on to say that wearing masks is important for your health as well as for the person sitting beside you. 

Pandher has been practising bhangra most of his life, punctuated by small breaks every now and then, but he's recently turned it into a full-time job, teaching it online to help those feeling cooped up due to the pandemic.

TransLink will require customers to wear non-medical masks or face coverings while on board transit vehicles. The transportation agency says the mandatory protocol will come into effect on Monday, August 24. It adds that this step is essential to ensuring customers have confidence riding transit as British Columbia’s economy continues to reopen and more people commute around the region.

With this in mind, customers who are unable to wear face coverings due to an underlying medical condition or disability will be exempt from this policy and won’t be asked to wear a mask or face covering.  These customers will have the option to request a TransLink branded card which notes they are exempt from wearing a face covering. The cards will be made available at Compass Customer Service Centres at Stadium-Chinatown and Waterfront Stations.

In June, the transportation agency launched a new campaign aimed at encouraging the use of face coverings and non-medical masks on Metro Vancouver’s transit system. As part of the ‘Wearing is Caring’ campaign, it is handing out more than 15,000 TransLink branded masks at key transit hubs.

- With files from Pedro Arrais and the Canadian Press.