On the streets, at the malls, in swanky cars, even on FM radio. Kannada is more than just the thayi bhashe, it’s also sakkath hot. On Rajyotsava, the Kannada film frat waves the flag for Kannada and namma Karnataka

Ramya: I consider Kannada just as cool as English or any other language. And I’m doing my bit to promote the language through my films. Some of my friends and I converse in Kannada and I’ve also invented a couple of slang words. Like if I find something unbelievable, I say ‘badnekai’. Or if someone pulls a fast one on me, I say, “Nan tale mele dodda Lalbagh kurisbitru!” ‘Howdalvene’ and ‘nodey’ are two of my most frequently used words.

Ganesh: I’m really proud of being a Kannadiga. I’m happy that even youngsters and college-goers today find it absolutely cool to speak in Kannada. In fact, some of my non-Kannadiga friends have started learning Kannada after they met me. Viji, a Telugu-speaking guy, has become so fluent in Kannada that he watches all the Kannada films, first day, first show. And even after having shot in some of the most exotic locations around the world, I still find Karnataka the most beautiful. My favourites include Belur, Halebidu, Sakleshpur, Badami and Aihole. And I love saying, “dabba nan magane” all the time!

Pooja Gandhi: I entered Sandalwood in 2007 and a year later, if I’m speaking accha Kannada, it’s because I fell in love with the language the minute I heard it. The first sentence I learnt in Kannada is, “Tumba underestimate madbitri, sorry.” That was my dialogue from Mungaru Male, my debut, and it became my favourite even off-screen. Today, I even dub for my films and it’s all because of my immense respect for Karnataka and its people.

Yograj Bhat: As a director, I’m able to give my best only when I think and write in Kannada. While the older generation are Kannada premis, the youth needed some prodding. And I’m happy I was able to bridge that gap with my film Mungaru Male — it had a very contemporary feel that the youth identified with. And it was confirmed when even non-Kannadigas set Anisutide as their ringtone. I love my land, which is also the reason I filmed Mungaru Male and Gaalipata here — to showcase the splendour of Karnataka.