Voices, footsteps, coffee cups, elevator, kids playing and then, there was glorious singing. That beautiful sound through the mundane noise of Christmas rush in Toowong Shopping Centre, Brisbane came from the members of the Harvest Rain Theatre Company. At first, I thought of my mother as I listened. How much would she had enjoyed this? Then, as I sang along, I let thoughts of my late grandmother and my aunts and their happy faces go through my head. How many times did we sing in harmony like this together? The thoughts almost brought me to tears.
I walked closer and watched each of them singing joyfully. They were so happy, it was infectious, and my sadness vanished. One by one, the busy shoppers slowed and took notice. Some stopped and listened. I asked the singers for a picture and someone else wanted pictures too. This was how I remember Christmas as I was growing up – the glorious singing.
Thank you Harvest Rain Theatre Company. You made the shopping worthwhile, considering I don’t like shops, crowds or the pretentious conversations of people trying to sell you something.
There is a term I heard when I was growing up. It was “yellow-top”. It was also called “blondie top”. I have heard people from mine and other provinces used this term in Papua New Guinea to refer to East New Britain and New Irelanders. It was not meant to be derogatory in any way; people from these places had natural blonde hair. This ‘look’ is found in many other Melanesian populations across the Pacific. I guess this blonde look on black skin has intrigued other races but to us (Melanesians), it is quite normal.
I accidentally found this video on YouTube and I wanted to share it. I found some of the narration quite amusing, especially in the pronunciation and arguments about the races/genes that could have contributed to the hair colour. The study was interesting.
In the next video, as it is Christmas Eve, I wanted to share some gospel music from the Melanesia. As majority of our people have followed Christianity, these songs are for worshipping. The Melanesian Choirs (Solomon Islands) sung these songs in the movie, The Thin Red Line.
This choir and the songs remind me of Christmas and my childhood memories. I miss those days when I spent Christmas with my mother, grandmother and aunts, and we would sing. It is this time that I remember all these amazing women, some gone and some afar, that love to sing their hearts out. I hope you enjoy the choir.