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Carols Unheard! Christmas Carols from Dalit Perspective

Commission on Dalits, National Council of Churches in India
“Carols, Unheard!”
Christmas Carols from Dalit Perspectives

Partnership with
Dept. of Communication, The United theological College, Bangalore
With the sponsorship of
Evangelisches Missionswerk (EMW), Germany


Report of the making of the CD
It has been a difficult task to gather different groups in the United Theological College in Bangalore. But after many requests and personal contacts many language groups came forward to sing the carols. There was help from Rev Fr Jerry Kurian, the head of the department of Communication at UTC. Groups of students and their spouses from the various languages such as Oriya, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Hindi and English were encouraged to have practice sessions on the genuine Christmas carols collected by the Commission on Dalits from the various parts of India. Using the facilities of the recording studio of UTC, these songs were recorded. Mr Sam Santhosh, a professional sound engineer as well as a close associate with the communication department in UTC, came down from Kerala to help in recording. Mr Vishal helped in arranging the orchestration. 

   
   

After the successful completion of recording a fellowship dinner was arranged for all the singers, who tirelessly worked towards the fulfillment of this great task. The support of the principal and the teachers of the UTC was highly commendable. The recording was over by the 5th of November 2012 and the release was on the next day during the chapel worship service at UTC.

Report of the release of the CD

On 6th November 2012, the NCCI Commission on Dalits along with the support of the Department of the Communication of United Theological College, Bangalore and Evangelisches Missionswerk (EMW), Germany brought out a CD entitled “Carols, Unheard”. Releasing the same, Rev. Dr. John Samuel Raj, the Principal of the United Theological College, praised the effort saying, “It is a novel as well as challenging project to bring out Christmas carols from Dalit perspectives”.

Rev. Dr. Vincent Rajkumar, the Director of the CISRS, Bangalore, while receiving the first copy of the CD quoted from a Tamil song which says, ‘We do not have Christmas this year, because we cannot see the stars. We cannot see stars because the fumes from the factories nearby make the atmosphere cloudy’.

Miss Sunita Suna, the Regional Secretary of the World Students Christian Federation, Asia-Pacific Region, in her felicitation speech, highlighted the importance of disseminating these songs to the masses.

The CDs recorded with the help of the students and Rev. Fr. Jerry Kurian, head of Communication Department of United Theological College, showcase original carols from Dalits perspectives in English and vernacular languages. These songs are available free along with the lyrics on the following websites:
http://soundcloud.com/commission-on-dalits-ncci
http://www.nccindia.in/
The CDs will be sent to all the member churches of NCCI and the churches will be encouraged to sing these songs in their local congregations. The songs will be uploaded in Facebook, NCCI website and YouTube for wider dissemination.

Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad, the General Secretary of the National Council of Churches in India, while appreciating the initiative, calls upon churches to use these Christmas Carols. Furthermore, he encourages all to compose similar carols in vernacular languages and sing them. Thus we will evolve

indigenous and relevant Christmas carols in the Indian context.

Further procedure on this process
The songs recorded were already uploaded in the websites mentioned above. A book which contains the concept note is published and will be sent to the member churches and seminaries along with the CDs. The member churches will be encouraged to sing these carols. There are already hundreds of visitors in the websites and many downloaded the songs. We expect these carols will help to reduce the social divide in the caste- ridden Indian society.

Rev. Sunil Raj Philip,
Executive Secretary,
Commission on Dalits, National Council of Churches in India

Nagpur
20.11.2012