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.