Friday, May 31, 2024

Indian-origin comedian in Singapore roots for local industry and artistes

Dharmadasa D Dharamahsena.

A 31-year-old Indian-origin comedian in Singapore, who became famous for his parody on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and recently debuted in a local movie, has said there is a need to promote native artistes and works at a time when Singaporeans appreciate international content more than homemade productions.
Dharmadasa D Dharamahsena, popularly called as Das, has gained fame due to his creative works that led to a role in a local movie Reunion Dinner, based on a traditional Chinese New Year eve family gathering, according to Singapore Friday weekly on Indian community, Tabla!
He is one of the few Indians who have entered the Singapore film industry and plays the character of AK in the film.
The film became the first Singapore-origin work to be screened in 2022 when it hit the local cinemas on January 20.
Das hopes the film will create more cultural appreciation among Singaporeans as they largely prefer to consume international content and doubt the quality of homemade productions.
“We should all encourage our local artistes and works. There needs to be more awareness about our industry and artistes,” said Das.
The movie is a romance-comedy that follows the misadventure of a man who hires actors to be his family members and attend the reunion dinner, an important gathering that bonds Chinese families on the eve of Lunar New Year.
“I was not included in this film just because I am an Indian. My character AK was also not forcefully fitted into the plot. I am a comedian who can speak fluent Chinese and happens to be Indian,” Das was quoted as saying by Tabla!
“I am happy I was chosen for this role based on my abilities.
“The characterisation of AK does not harbour any stereotypes. This film also promotes a deeper understanding on the importance of family bonds, which I feel is highly relevant to the people of all stripes,” he said.
Das pointed out that the film does not have scenes, dialogues or screenplay elements targeted at a particular section of the society and it is made for all to enjoy and appreciate.
Das became famous for his parody on Prime Minister Lee’s circuit breaker address in 2020 on the near close down of the city-state due to the COVID-19.
The circuit breaker period in Singapore was in place from April 7 to June 1, 2020 when tough lockdown measures were put in place, home made schooling was started and most workplaces were closed.
In the funny video, Das is seen speaking fluently in four languages – English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil, according to Tabla!
The video caught Lee’s attention, and the Prime Minister messaged Das saying that he enjoyed watching it. (PTI)