Three Creators Represent Tamil-Canadian Population at Raptors’ South Asian Heritage Night
Yanchan Produced plays the mridangam while Dusha Jeganathan and Mathushan Srikannathasan are selected as two of the three South Asian representatives
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The Toronto Raptors hosted their first South Asian Heritage Night at the Scotiabank Arena on Tuesday April 2, 2024. 

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As part of the specialty nights hosted by the Toronto Raptors in an attempt to appreciate different groups, South Asian Heritage Night was held to recognize the South Asian Canadian diaspora. The game between the Toronto Raptors and the Los Angeles Lakers started with performances from well-known artists from the community, pursuing various forms of art.

Tamil Canadian music producer, songwriter, music engineer, and mridangist Yanchan Produced, who performed a piece on the mridangam (an Indian percussion instrument used for Carnatic music), described his experience as historical. 

"This was the first-ever South Asian night so to be a part of that and perform on the mridangam was a dream come true,” he said in an online interview.

The 29-year-old Yanchan Produced, with over 150,000 followers on Instagram, fuses Carnatic music (a traditional Indian style of music) with popular Tamil music and other styles of Western music. 

Yanchan added that his performance was an opportunity for non-Tamil individuals to hear Tamil music. 

"I felt like a change was happening. More and more people are getting exposed to Tamil culture and Tamil music, and are loving it,” he said.

Keethi Lingam, a Tamil Canadian Registered Nurse in the Greater Toronto Area, who listens to Rajmohan’s music  said that his performance was a win for the Tamil community. 

 “I am so proud and excited to see Yanchan, a Tamil Canadian who grew up in the GTA perform at this event,” she said. 

Lingam added that Yanchan’s success would serve as an inspiration for young Tamil youth of this generation. 

“I am very proud that he is creating a pathway for young Tamil children to break free from the standards that their parents have embedded in them; the sky's the limit and he is living proof of that” she said. 

Yanchan himself,  provided words of wisdom to the younger audiences.

“I’d say dreams only die if you let them. You have to dive into your fears and attack them. I came this far because I never stopped believing in myself.” 

Mathushan Srikannathasan, one of the chosen representatives for the South Asian Heritage night, can relate to finding success in an unconventional pathway as a Tamil Canadian. 

“I truly believe that if you continue to set goals and you put consistent small actions towards these goals, the journey becomes the best part of the story,” he said. 

Srikannathasan, who is the founder of Underdog Athletics described his experience as a representative as an honour and privilege. 

“As a South Asian coach in basketball being represented by one of the top organizations in the field, there is no better feeling,” he said. 

Dusha Jeganathan, was the other Tamil-Canadian representative along with Srikannathasan and Pooja Handa. 

During her introduction video, Jeganathan gave light to the immense gratitude she holds towards her Tamil Canadian immigrant parents. 

“It meant so much to me that the Raptors allowed me to highlight the sacrifices of my parents, similar to many other Tamil immigrants, have made to provide many of us first generation Tamils, a better life,” she said. 

The strategy and growth coordinator of the Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Partnership also had advice for young Tamil Canadians who wanted to accomplish big things too. 

"Dreams come true when you consistently work towards your goals with passion and determination. If you don’t see someone that looks like you in an industry, become the first!” 

The Los Angeles Lakers beat the Toronto Raptors by 17 points with a final score of 128-111. 

According to many South Asians however, the overall night and the representation that came with it, was a win despite the score.

What is my Identity? It's a question that we all seek to answer in our own ways throughout our lives. Each episode of Identity spotlights a different creative, some from the Tamil community and some from outside it, who will be chatting about how we take ownership of our narratives, art, politics and of course who we are. We hope to inspire you through their unique stories of seeking and finding Identity. Catch Season 1 below!

Shaaranki Kulenthirarasa
Student | Toronto Metropolitan University
Toronto,  Canada
Hi! My name is Shaaranki and I am a journalism student in Toronto, Ontario. In my free ...
Hi! My name is Shaaranki and I am a journalism student in Toronto, Ontario. In my free ...
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