Dappanguthu for Diwali. What the hell la?

I am sure by now all of you Indian Hindus living in Malaysia have seen the recent Petronas Diwali advertisement on Youtube and the idiot box. For those who didn't, here you go.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhNv6xBp11c

The ad proclaims that the Dappankuthu is an energetic dance prominent in Tamil cinema. Pray tell, do any of our local movies have dappankuthu dance slots included? Our youngsters don't even dance this kind of dance in dancing competitions like Aatam 100 Vagai. Since when did dappankuthu became Malaysian Indians' culture? This genre of dappankuthu dance is exclusively confined in Tamil movies from India and if Petronas advertising team thought that dappan dance will hit the right chord with Malaysian Indians and Malaysians at large, well, sorry to burst your bubble but you are sorely mistaken. WE ABHOR IT!! Well, most of us..

What is the message that this ad is trying to convey and what is the nexus of it with Diwali? Diwali marks, good triumphing over evil, light, overcoming darkness but what this ad is depicting is that Indians are still stuck in the Dark Ages. A great insult to our culture and history.

What this ad seems to be is a pathetic spoof of PSY's Gangnam Style. Dei, why copy la? Don't the Petronas team have original ideas?

Do any Indians here dance on the streets and shake their heads to dappankuthu on Diwali? No right? So why portray such a fallacy? This is how Indians here are viewed, uncultured street people who go wild on the tiniest provocation.

Petronas ads used to bring warmth and a nice, fuzzy feeling to our hearts and their ads are unforgettable simply because they forward family values and virtues, that no matter how much the world changes, simplicity and benevolence will reign supreme in our hearts; it's about going back to our roots. What root does this dappanguthu has?

Nowhere in the world where Indians go around dancing on the streets like this for Diwali. This song and dance only tries to imitate Kollywood and it doesn't sit well with the theme Diwali carries;it does not define any Indian culture. The thing is, this ad endorses a parochial lens on Indians here. What kind of example does this advertisement carry? Surely a sordid one!!

This advertisement is as bad as this sarong dance by Thanush. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnQoAS6xvBY Leave dappanguthu dance to the likes of Tamil leading actors such as Simbhu, Thanush and Vijay to name a few. Don't try to emulate Indian cinematic crap in Malaysia; it is not something Indians here would be proud of. It is demeaning rather.

This type of dance is performed in front of funeral processions in India. And, like giving out ang pow in white packets on Chinese New Year, this is just as insinuating and shows the small mindedness of this ad's creators.

Unless this dappan kuthu dance is the presign of MIC's political death, it rings hollow in the hearts of Indians here. If that is the case, this ad being the sanggu sattham (conch call related to death) for MIC, I would join in happily.. Just saying..I tend to succumb to sarcasm when faced with idiocy; I can't help it.

To amend their major blunder, Petronas should withdraw the advert forthwith and stick to producing value-based adverts that Petronas traditionally do.

I am really feeling the absence of Yasmin Ahmad now. If she is around, she'd never approve such a shallow, utterly stupid Diwali ad. This kind of ads will kill the legacy of Yasmin Ahmad.
Petronas team should be socially responsible and make ads pertaining to values and virtues, that reflect culture and civilization, not some cheap plagiarization that holds no weight and bearing and borders revulsion.

This is what I meant when I said that dappanguthu is danced in front of funeral processions in India. Notice the bloke at the far right blowing a conch. That is the death call.. Funeral dance or street dance, dappanguthu doesn't suit Malaysian Indians. We must have an identity and a class of our own. We may originate from India and have an affinity with Indian cinema but it should stop at that. Aping the frown inducing stunts in Indian cinema is uncalled for.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. "For a start i think we need to stop referring ourselves as "Malaysian-Indians" that doesn't make any sense ...its two nationalities .... I would say were just plain "Malaysians" of Indian Ethnicity .....When we ourselves don't understand what are we in Malaysia...how would the others know? Let us not divide ourselves from the other Malaysians and then ask why are we divided in Malaysia...Change should start within us first...

    1. I share your sentiments. It is high time Malaysia is addressed as a whole, the diving semblance, thrashed. So much for 1Malaysia.

  3. Copying western culture is OK, but copying Tamilnadu culture is not ok?
    Fantastic view point. You forget where you belong.
    I repeat what the Muniandy Chinnadurai petronas ad says "The world is changing. But we are always proud of what we are.".

    Looks like you are not proud of what you are.
    This is like saying "pakkathu street la sigappa oruthar irukkare avar than enga appa."

    Neengallam nalla varuveenga. Nanri!

    1. Really? In that ad, which is my all time favourite Diwali ad, the depiction of Western culture get humbled by Eastern values. Culture and value are two very different things. What value do you see in this ad? And, does it depict our culture?
      The thing is, this ad is highly inappropriate. You want to dance dappanguthu or any kuthu, do it where it is rightful to portray and call it our cultural heritage. That is the way it should be.

      What did you say? "Pakkathe veetle sigappa oru oruthar irukare avar than engge appa" Boss, neengge soldrethule vere artham varuthu. You get your culture and values right first before giving oorukku ubadhesam. I know who I am and I know who my father is and what my culture is. Naan nalla varuven, I have all I need to be a wholesome person and next time, do avoid ad hominem. It rings shallow in my ears.

  4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2r7NdhBFzpo IS THIS GRANNY SINGGING DEATH SONG?

    Do some homework first ... dapan kuttu is a folk dance just like kummi & kollattam... no wonders we live with forgotten culture for others to steal

    1. I can accept urumi melam as our folk music. It borders around karaga aatam, puli aatam, poi kal kuthirai aatam and even bharathanatyam, kuchipodi, katakali, garba, thandiya , bhangra,(Sikhs celebrate Diwali as well) odissi, kathak and whatnot. If Petronas team saturated all of this folk and traditional music and dance and intersperse dappanguthu into a Diwali ad, I would applaud and totally root for the ad for it illustrates our diversity contained in unity.

      Zooming on exclusively dappanguthu is a mistake. It reflects how much Tamil movies' influence has imbibed us. We have our own Mannin Mainthargal; why don't rope them up and come up with a swell theme for Diwali? And, the moves in the ad is disgraceful. We should not try to emulate India in Malaysia; Malaysian ethos are different. I have Malay friends asking me what shitty kind of dance this is. I didn't know where to put my face. RELATIVITY and CONNECTIVITY is imperative and I see next to nothing nexus of full fledged dappanguthu with Diwali. Even my Facebook friends from India agree with me over this matter.

  5. She is Telegu and she hates Tamil to core .All her negativity will be reflected to Tamils , why Telegu movied do no have Dappankuthu ?

    1. Vaangge.. Pray tell, who is the majority of the Indian community here? Tamils right? We watch Tamil entertainment 99% of the time and we have Tamil schools. Telugus, Malayalees and Punjabis are the minority of the Indian community here. How many Telugu movies are aired on Astro as opposed to Tamil movies? I merely emphasized on the majority and immediately I become a racist? I have no idea if Telugu movies have dappanguthu but I think this borders dappanguthu. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLAY-mTjp-w

      Let me tell you that I speak Tamil better than my mother tongue. I even taught myself to read Tamil. If I hate Tamil, why would I bother learning the language?

      The ad is in Tamil, not Telugu, Malayalam or Punjabi, so it is only right to compare relatively. If you still think that I hate Tamils to the core, well, it's your problem, not mine.

  6. She hates Tamils till she don't want to use the word Deepavali but choose to use Diwali .Diwali is iused by Northern Indian but in Malaysia common word is Deepavali which is a tamil word.

    1. Hahahahaha! Using the word 'Diwali' implies that I hate Tamils. I merely used the word Diwali because it is shorter than Deepavali and you construed it to your self serving interest. Your comment is equivalent to saying that if one uses the term 'Festival of Lights' instead of Deepavali, he or she hate Tamil.

      Diwali or Deepavali or Festival of Lights mean the same thing. Water, air, paani, thanni, suei, nilu all mean water. Likewise. If you still think I hate Tamils, well, may GOD help you.

  7. Reminds me of "15 minutes of fame".

    Kutram kandu pidithe peyar vaangum pulavarkal.

    Good try, but - better luck next time.