(MENAFN - AFP) Malaysian state energy firm Petronas has pulled a YouTube music video it posted to mark the Hindu festival of Diwali after angry viewers pointed out that it depicted an inappropriate funeral dance.
Race and religion are sensitive issues in Malaysia which experienced deadly racial riots in 1969, and critics complained that the video failed to depict the true meaning of the festival of lights, which commemorates the triumph of good over evil.
The three-minute video advertisement on its YouTube page featured at least 14 dancers in colourful clothing doing the "Dappan Koothu" an energetic dance routine popular in South Indian Tamil movies.
Critics complained that the peppy music-cum-dance video was irrelevant to Diwali celebrations because it depicted a dance sometimes performed before a funeral procession.
The video clip titled "Do the Dappan" was part of Petronas' campaign for Diwali, which the minority Indian community celebrates next week in this Muslim majority Southeast Asian country.
Petronas said its intention was to help promote unity in the multiethnic society.
"After considering the varied feedback received from viewers on our 'Do the Dappan' video clip ... Petronas has decided to discontinue the video from its official YouTube page," it said in a statement late Thursday.
R.S. Mohan Shan, president of the Malaysia Hindu Sangam organisation, welcomed Petronas' decision, saying street dancing was not part of Hindu culture and the "Dappan Koothu" was performed during funeral processions.
"Dappan Koothu is purely entertainment in nature and it is only fit for the cinemas. Street dancing and causing traffic jams as shown in the video is not Hindu culture," he told AFP Friday.