Tunak tunak tun is a Bhangra/Indian pop song by Daler Mehndi, released in 1998. The song and its music video became a success in India, cementing Mehndi's status as India's biggest popstar at the time. It also gained international popularity, especially after it became a meme in the 2000s. The song is a celebration of Punjabi culture, embodying the energy and exuberance of its people. It's a reminder of the power that music has to bring people together and uplift their spirits, even across language and cultural barriers.
The song’s a cappella intro sets the tone for what is to come: a fast-paced, upbeat melody with catchy lyrics. Mehndi raps about the power of the music industry to break down boundaries and bring people together, while his dance moves exemplify the spirit of the song. Throughout the video, the audience is treated to a vibrant visual experience, creating a captivating aesthetic that is still beloved decades after its release.
Daler Mehndi’s creative use of greenscreen technology makes the music video feel like a visual diss track to his critics. He has revealed that he created the song as a clap-back to those who claimed he was only popular because his videos featured beautiful dancing women.
The music video is filmed in multiple locations, including deserts and mountains. Eventually, Mehndi's clones start to merge into a single figure that represents all four elements: earth, fire, wind, and water. The final scene sees the figure bursting out of its container, a metaphor for coming out into the world.