Gospel presentations have a disproportionate influence on the way people afterwards read the Bible. Therefore, it substantially shapes their biblical and theological framework. …
Posts tagged # contextualization
Our family has been trying to learn traditional Nepali songs. One evening we were sitting around the table flipping through a Nepali hymn-book trying to sing what we could. We came to a contextualized version of a good ol’ folk song by Woody Guthrie. It was good for a laugh after a day of language learning. No doubt in another time an American missionary labored to bless the Nepali peoples with this translated song. Here it is for you in Devanagari script and translated back.
यो देश येशूको देश, मेरो पनि यो देश
तपाईँ र मेरो यो देश
This land is Jesus’ land, this land is my land
From the Himalayas to the Terai grassland,
From the Mahakali to the Mechi river,
This land is made for you and me.
What color of flower do you give to your beloved? What color do you wear to a funeral? Which colors are for boys and which are for girls? The answers to these questions are not universal. Cultures don’t respond to colors in the same way.
If you’re depending upon a color to carry meaning (such as with a “Wordless Book” gospel presentation), first ask your audience, “What do you think of when you see this color? What is it used for?” Take care when you use color so that you do not miscommunicate across cultures.
See the graphic below to get an idea of how some culture’s perceive color.
Aradhna compiled an album of Nepali songs, Himalchuli: Spiritual Songs from Nepal (2009). Aradna’s lead singer and musician, Chris Hale, grew up in Nepal and studied sitar in India. The songs are folk songs and “bhajans” (devotional hymns), a fusion of east and west, sitar and guitar, tabla and drum kit.
Many of the songs are Nepali folk hymns arranged by Aradhna. The style and message fit a Hindu context but have been appreciated by Nepali and Western audiences wherever I’ve sung them with guitar.
The CD can be ordered at www.aradhnamusic.com. Aradhna makes the album available for free to those working with Bhutanese refugees. You can also compile the individual tracks from other albums. I listed the songs below with their original albums. Some of the songs are attributed to Olio, the band Hale formed before Aradhna. You can find song lyrics and loose translations listed with the original albums on Aradhna’s discography page.
- “Prabhu Ji,” Aparampar by Olio
- “Na Socha,” Deep Jalé by Aradhna
- “Himalchuli,” Aparampar by Olio
- “Khola Khola Dhoka,” Aparampar by Olio
- “Ishwarle,” Marga Darshan by Aradhna
- “Aayo Hai Aayo,” Amrit Vani by Aradhna
- “Lo Suna Saathi,” Marga Darshan by Aradhna
- “Surulurulu,” Aparampar by Olio
- “Prabhu Ko Darshan,” Marga Darshan by Aradhna
- “Ishwarle (Live),” Satsang by Aradhna
Aradhna also recorded a traditional Nepali Christmas song, “Herana,” on a later album, Namaste Saté (2011).