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Veera, the protagonist of the Tamil movie Raavanan, used to repeat a specific phrase throughout the movie, which was one of the few things not translated in the dubbed version I watched. It sounded like

dan...dan...dan...danaka!

Does this mean anything in the Tamil language, or is it some name, maybe related to the original Ramayana which the movie was supposedly based on to some degree (and which I'm totally unacquainted with)? Or was this just some kind of exclamation, without much literal meaning to it? And what was his intention for saying this? Was he trying to intimidate people with that, seeing that he used to say this in rather instense situations, or was this just part of his quite excessive character?

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4 Answers 4

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In the original Ramayana, Ravana is said to have 10 heads. 10 heads mean 10 brains, and that further means the possibility of having 10 different thoughts simultaneously.

In the movie, the character Veera is portrayed like Ravana, which is also the movie's name. Quite often when he thinks about something or tries to arrive at a decision, his 10 brains start transmitting ideas simultaneously and hence the collision of ideas and hence the sound "dan...dan...dan...danaka..." which could be translated in English as "clang.. clang..."

That's actually the very essence of this character.

Now the more important part. What is the source here or why should you trust this answer?

For the mythological part, you can check this. For the movie related part my answer is based on one interview of actor Amitabh Bachhan, who is the father of actor Abhishek bachhan, who played the part of Veera in the Hindi version. In the interview Amitabh Bachhan expressed disappointment over the editing of the Hindi version where this particular part was trimmed down. The actor explained why this part was important and how it's editing damaged the movie.

The link to which is here.

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In Indian languages this is just a kind of exclamation. And it is very common in Tamil movies to give the lead characters some kind of phrase, you will find out more examples if you watch more Hindi or Tamil movies.

"dan.. dan.. danaka" is an expression that resembles the beating of drum, which usually implies to do something with enthusiasm or alike, the meaning might be different in different cases though.

These kind of exclamation are common in Indian languages, and this particular expression also has variants like "dan.. dan.. dan.. danadan" etc.

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I have seen Raavanan in Hindi. I believe dan dan dan danaka means banging of drums.

When we are in the temple there are drums playing during ceremonies. In Hindi sound of Danka is Dan Dan..

A similar phrase in Hindi is DANKA BAJANA (literal meaning is play the drum), in English the phrase means "to be celebrated/renowned/proclaimed" (ref: shabdkosh.raftaar.in).

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It is nothing but just a phrase used by him to express his Mood! like we use to say some thing while lifting heavy weights, or while doing some serious work just to elevate the mood.

it doesn't have any particular meaning!

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