Raya songs with Indian drum beats thrill M’sians

PUTRAJAYA: In a bid to ease “racial tensions” on social media, a group of youths from the Sai Naga Urumi Melam put together a special performance of traditional raya songs Suasana Hari Raya and Seloka Hari Raya accompanied by the rhythmic sounds of urumi drums.

To their surprise, their first attempt at this, through two TikTok videos, successfully touched the hearts of Malaysians, especially the Muslim community who recently celebrated Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

Some people even requested for their services for open house events.

M. Logeswaran, 22, the thavil (drum) player featured in the videos said that they got the idea after observing increasingly sensitive issues involving religion, royalty and race (3Rs) appearing on social media.

“The Sai Naga Urumi Melam team felt the need to do something and we believed that music could connect everyone, especially during the Hari Raya celebration,” he told Bernama.

Urumi melam, an Indian folk music ensemble, typically comprises multiple drums and requires at least five performers to create vibrant musical compositions and rhythms.

It is usually played in temples as accompanying music for religious ceremonies, weddings and traditional celebrations.

The instruments commonly used by the band are thavil, urumi, pambai and thalam.

Logeswaran, who hails from Kajang, also said that it took more than five hours to record a TikTok video that lasted just over a minute.

“We started recording around 2am. I can’t recall how many times we tried to get it right.

“Sometimes the singer, N. Lachman, missed the lyrics, or we missed the musical beat, or there were car noises that forced us to redo the recording.

“However, the final result was worth the effort,” he added.

At the time of writing, the two videos had gone viral on various social media platforms, garnering over 30,000 shares and receiving various reactions from the multicultural society, with many leaving constructive and positive comments for the efforts of these youths.

Facebook user Norma Ab Talib said: “Thank you all. A good effort to foster unity and I highly appreciate it.

“We are Malaysians.”

A TikTok user, mohammadfazli282, said: “Leave politics to politics. We are all Malaysians, regardless of race and religion.

“We remain as one Malaysia, respecting each other. Well done, bro!”

The video can be viewed on TikTok at https://www.tiktok.com/@sainagaurumimelam?_t=8larQffDbA0&_r=1

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