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Dance of the Thousand Hands - Edited video goes viral with false claim

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Rumour

On 17th September, Madhu Kishwar tweeted a video in which a group of women can be seen performing a well-coordinated and meticulous dance performance on a song titles "Ram Ram...Ram Ram".

The caption of her tweet reads, "Magical performance to the tune of a bhajan sung by two tiny tots--pupils of the one and only @kuldeepmpai".

You can watch the video here:

The video was also tweeted by Tarek Fateh with a caption "The Magic that is Hindustan".

Our Investigation

Several users have pointed out that the video is edited and not from India. A user replied to Madhu Kishwar, "Search "Thousand hand buddha" dance on YouTube.. you will find 100s of such videos of girls performing in yellow dress from China. Music is changed in this video."

Taking a clue from the comment we searched on the web and found that this dance form is called ‘Dance of a thousand hands’, and it originates from China.

The exact video was posted by the Chinese news agency Xinhua in November 2018 on Twitter. The dance was performed at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York. 

We also found a longer clip of the performance on YouTube.

The Dance of The Thousand Hands is related to Goddess Guanyin, or the Goddess of Mercy. This dance is performed by 63 deaf dancers of the China Disabled People’s Performing Art Troupe and it is choreographed by Zhang Jigang.

This dance describes the legend that Bodhisattva Guan Yin has one thousand hands. Bodhisattva is a Proto-Buddha. She can not become a Buddha because she is still attached to this world. 

The original soundtrack used in the video can be watched here.

Fact

The viral video is of a dance performance dedicated to a Buddhist deity. The video has been overlaid with a Ram bhajan to falsely depict them performing on the devotional song "Ram Ram...Ram Ram".

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