Thursday, May 17, 2007

Winner of Australian Idol composes WYD anthem

Via Zenit:
The theme song for World Youth Day 2008 was written by singer/songwriter Guy Sebastian, the winner of the first Australian Idol contest in 2003.

"Receive the Power" was written by Sebastian, who will also perform the song at the World Youth Day in July 2008.

In choosing the song, the World Youth Day coordinator, Auxiliary Bishop Anthony Fisher, said that "we wanted a song that was stirring and uplifting."

He added: "The ... theme had to measure up thematically and be an anthem -- yet be easily sung by people of all language backgrounds.

"Above all, it had to engage young people and capture the theme of World Youth Day 2008 -- namely, that you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses."

Bishop Fisher remarked that when the World Youth Day organizers heard "Receive the Power," they knew that they had found their anthem: "To put it simply, 'Receive the Power' hit the mark."
Incidentally, Guy's father was a co-worker of the friend I visited in Adelaide. (He's of Malay Indian descent, if I recall correctly. Guy, not my friend.) Small world!


Mac said...

Malaysian Sri Lankan-Tamil (inter alia) descent, actually.

(There is a, to me, rather amusing snobbery among Malaysian Tamils as to which are the tony Ceylon Tamils and which are the infra dig Indian ones. Ceylon Tamils came to Malaya under their own steam as professionals and tradesmen; Indian Tamils were brought over from Madras as indentured rubber plantation labourers.)

There are plenty of Malay-Indian mixed-ethnicity people in both Malaysia and Singapore but they are all Muslim for perhaps obvious reasons. The only Malaysian Indians I know of who have married Malays have converted to Islam. And indeed largely assimilate to the Malay community: marriage to Malay women doesn't get them Bumiputra status but it does get it for their children. Many profess not even to be able to speak Tamil -- ALL Malaysian Indians speak Tamil and Malayalis and Telugus have long since abandoned their mother tongues -- or to have any awareness of the specifics of their Indian ancestry other than generic Indian-Muslim-ness, though North Indian and Pakistani Muslims are very sniffy indeed about their South Indian/Southeast Asian version of Islam.

Interesting that the World Youth Day have chosen Guy Sebastian as their musical mascot, as 'twere: he is a very high profile member of the Hillsong Church [sic] -- the Australian/UK equivalent of the US mega-churches: not precisely Catholic-friendly.

Mac said...

(Or, on second thought, do we have a slight communication problem here? "Malay" means ethnically Malay as opposed to Chinese, Indian proto-Malay (and other peoples of insular Malaysia -- British North Borneo as once was) and Orang Asli (ie aboriginal). Nationals of Malaysia (a portmanteau of Malaya and Singapore, held over from before Singapore was expelled from Malaysia) are Malaysians. It's not entirely clear precisely what the ethnic distribution is in Malaysia since all Muslim Malays, non-Chinese or Indian insular Malaysians and aboriginals (neither of whom need be Muslim) are Bumiputras. Malays who are not Muslim or who forsake Islam lose their Bumiputra status. Malaysia may be something like 50% (or, depending on one's informant, slightly more) Muslim, and as I say, there are Indian and Nonya and Insular Malaysian Muslims; it is unlikely to be 50% Malay. But then, as I say, the status of the descendants of Indians, Chinese and others who marry Malays and convert to Islam is problemmatic as to whether they are Malays or not. This may be among the reasons that Malaysian and Singaporean Muslim Indians identify so strongly with the Malay community and determinedly speak Bahasa Melayu rather than Tamil.

(A slightly odder anomaly is that many persons of Indian subcontinent origins identify "Indian" as meaning Tamil, as opposed to Punjabi, Gujarati, Sindhi or other subcontinent ethnicities: "I don't know many Indians; we Punjabis don't really mix with them very much....")