Orang Asli join in Christmas Concert at SMC

More than 160 Orang Asli from Central and North Perak came to St Michael’s Church (SMC) over the weekend of Dec 6-7 to participate in the Malaysian Christmas Concert with other races.

Dec 18, 2014

IPOH (Herald Malaysia): More than 160 Orang Asli from Central and North Perak came to St Michael’s Church (SMC) over the weekend of Dec 6-7 to participate in the Malaysian Christmas Concert with other races.

The Orang Asli from Kg Sekam in Tapah, Kg Chang in Bidor, and Gerik areas sang some praise and worship songs in Bahasa Malaysia, accompanied by their own band of musicians.

There were so many young and old Orang Asli who came, although the expected number was only about 100.

They were the ones whose lives had been touched by SMC’s parish project to help them through food rations, building supplies, lighting for their homes and repair or refurbishment work for their villages.

In return, they generously gave back through the concert and by teaching others how to weave rattan baskets after Mass.

In communicating with the audience through the enthusiasm of their songs, they showed the importance of a service based on faith, and the dignity and freedom of the Orang Asli.

The livelihood of the Orang Asli in the Gerik area has been severely curtailed by many land development projects which leave them with little or no way to sustain their families through their traditional ways of hunting and obtaining jungle produce for sale.

The concert was organized by SMC’s committee for Orang Asli, which has been active in providing food rations, installing solar powered LED lighting for their homes, repairing their roofs, homes and undertaking the construction of proper toilets.

The mission to the Orang Asli started as SMC’s parish project at the beginning of 2014.

The Orang Asli from Gerik were led by their pastor, Pak Jalil, from Kg Air Bah Lawin, who also joined in the song and dance sessions.

The SMC Chinese Youth gave a wonderful rendition of traditional Christmas hymns, while the Sunday school (Chinese) children proved to be a hit with the crowd with their modern dance to “Jingle Bells.”

Young Indian girls did a beautiful and graceful dance to “O Holy Night,” carrying little lighted lamps.

A sketch on the nativity titled “Christmas by the Book” was performed by the English Youth and Sunday school which incorporated both very young children and teenagers.

The Chinese Youth, with its own band called VOYH, were not to be outdone and sang their hearts out.

At the grand finale, all performers came together to sing Hitam Putih as the crowd erupted into clapping and cheering.

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