Thulirkal: Upcoming Dancer, Banujan Kanagaratnam!

Photo Credits: Lotus Photography

CTYA’s Blog has started a new Feature on Fridays, Thulirkal. Thulirkal meaning bud reflects the young Tamil youth we will be featuring. These youth are the buds of our community, and are growing into to strong, achieving young men and women! Each week we will feature a Tamil youth of the week. For more information or to suggest a youth to feature, please feel free to email us at!

This week, we’ve brought you, Banujan Kanagaratnam!

Banujan Kanagaratnam is a passionate and avid dancer. Together, with his friends, they started a dappankuthu dance group, “Brown Shadowz Entertainment” and have danced in various programs in Montreal, Cornwall and Toronto! Their dance group explored many genres of dancing and even incorporated comedy into their acts and collaborated with many other teams. He has participated in dance competitions aswell, including Thaalam 2011 and 2012 and celebrations including CUTSA Kalai Vizha 2013.

Thank you for joining us today. So, let’s get warmed up. Ok, now don’t think, just say what first comes to mind. 1, 2, 3…

1. Favourite Comedian? Vivek
2. Tamil movies or English movies? Tamil Movies
3. Strangest thing you’ve eaten? Dosai
4. Best thing of Montreal? Night Life

CTYA Blog Team: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Banujan: My Name is Banujan Kanagaratnam, I live in Montreal. Funny story, I got into my program by accident since I wanted to study for religion, so I decided to apply for theology (Study of God) but apparently it was not the same program. It was meant for those who wanted to become a priest: S. I can’t see myself as a priest! I am dancer; I love dancing to Tamil music! My brother and I both finished our Bharathanaatyam arangetram! (That’s my only plus point). I wish I can brag more about myself but Sathiyama I got nothing more!

CTYA Blog Team: What interested you in music, dance and performing, when did you begin getting involved?

Banujan: I love watching Tamil movies and especially the dance videos! When we started our dance group in 2003 “Brown Shadowz Entertainment”, we wanted to improve ourselves and we started analyzing dance videos even further. We started perfecting thoroughly and this is where I started getting involved in music selection, then dramas and so on. I started watching Kamal Hassan’s “Salangai Oli” and that motivated me even further to learn dance vigorously. To be honest, the Tamil weddings and birthday parties really pushed me to love dance even further!

CTYA Blog Team: Tell us a bit about life being a Tamil youth living and studying in Montreal. How is the Tamil youth community in Montreal?

Banujan: Well I was involved in lot community service. We tried our best to partake in as many programs and help and promote our Tamil culture to various ethnic communities. To be honest, Montreal is like a village where everyone knows each other and if we did do something “Bam”!! Everyone knows about it and that led to unity among us since we are a small community. Tamil youth aren’t that different in Montreal, maybe more reserved would be the right term but it’s the same everywhere but in different scenarios.

Photo Credits: DEV

CTYA Blog Team: You’ve performed in many places till date, what performance were you the most proud of?

Banujan: CUTSA (Carleton University Tamil Student Association) Kalai Vizha 2013! One memorable event! I’m not that great at Tamil and I try my best to speak the language as fluently as possible, so when I met the Tamil students of Ottawa – where I didn’t know a single person there), I was so embarrassed because they were speaking the real Tamil. It was so nice to listen to, and there I was with my TANGLISH and some Tamil words that I used in my 2nd grade Tamil class, trying to MC a show for these folks. I was really scared. I said to myself: uh oh… Banu! Sanghu thaan unnaku! These guys said, “it’s okay Banu, you can do it and just be who you are and do your best”. So I did whatever I could to look like a clown and actually completed the show! I got some nice, positive criticism and that will definitely improve my next act.

CTYA Blog Team: If you could go back in time and change one thing of your life, what would you chance?

Banujan: My life! Is that a good enough answer hahaha!? On a serious note, I wouldn’t change anything in my life! I’ve made so many mistakes and by mistakes I mean huge mistakes! I managed somehow to overcome what I’ve done and that’s made me the person I am now! There’s a lot of things I’ve regret doing but I have learned some things from it! Parents and friends will tell you not to do what and not to do this…I just went with my gut and so far I’m safe! Beware I am not an exemplary role model at all!

CTYA Blog Team: If you had the choice to be anyone in the world, who would you want to be?

Banujan: An Astronaut…You can’t beat an astronaut! Haven’t you the watched the ad for axe! That was boss! Well if Tamil movies were real, definitely Rajnikanth but since Tamil movies are not real, mmm I would say I have no clue!

CTYA Blog Team: What are you most proud about our Tamil culture, history and traditions?

Banujan: The Tamil folk dance such as Karagattam, kummi attam, silambattam and so on! So final answer: The Tamil fine arts! You can lock the answer computer ji!

CTYA Blog Team: Finish the sentence. “To me, Tamil youth are..”

Banujan: Tamil Youth are mainly “CULTURED”! Even though we live in a western society, there is some Tamil ideology that is implemented in our brains by our very own Tamil parents which certainly distinguishes us from the others!

Thanks Banujan for coming and sharing your thoughts today. Until then! We’ll see you all next week with a new talented Tamil Youth!


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