Daily Archives: December 11, 2008

An Evening of Christmas Carols at The Indian Embassy in Muscat, Oman

InvitationEbenezer on the mic  The Muscat Mens Chorus was formed in 2000 by a group of music enthusiasts. Beginning as a male quartet, the numbers have now swelled to over thirty, and it is the only exclusively male choir of its kind in the Sultanate. The Muscat Christian Harmony, a mixed voices choir, was formed soon after. At present, the combined strength of both the choirs is over seventy.These are amateur choirs, with members from various Christian congregations and from very different walks of life. Under the direction of Dr. Dev Ebenezer, they have attained a diverse repertoire ranging from Classical choral pieces to contemporary works, traditional hymns to spirituals.Mens Choir at EmbassyEbenezer conductingThe Ambassador of India, Anil Wadhwas  The Ambassador of  India, The honorable Anil Wadhwa, gave a short speech during the concert: 

To all the organizers and Muscat Mens Chorus and Muscat Christian Harmony and the pastors who are here, my dear friends, a very warm welcome. Some of you are coming for the first time to the Embassy and we’d like to hardly welcome you to your own embassy. It’s my immense pleasure that I could be a part of this function this evening together with all of you for these Christmas carols. These are being organized for the first time in the Indian Embassy and I think this is the initiative of the Muscat Mens Chorus and the Muscat Christian Harmony that this has come about. (To those of you who are standing in the back, take some seats up here, please.) So I’d like to thank all of you for being present here this evening.   I’m very pleased to know that… (goes on to read facts from the evening’s pamphlet mentioned above…)     Truly commendable! My appreciation is due to all the members of these groups and Dr. Ebenezer for their sincere efforts in presenting this choir group in the embassy today. Carols have contributed a lot to spreading the message of peace on this earth and even in the height of the first world war on the western front, Allied and German troops had stopped fighting for a whole day on Christmas in 1914 to sing carols together. Ladies and gentlemen, today we are all here to cherish the joy of Christmas which is celebrated throughout India and indeed the whole world by Christians and of course in India by many non-Christians as a secular cultural festival. Christmas marks and honors the birth of the Christ Child Jesus and when Jesus Christ was born of the virgin Mary. At that time and onwards, he lived an exemplary life; a life which men everywhere must emulate. This life and the faith that he shows us ensures us of salvation as well as of harmony and a good life on earth. Emulating the exemplary character of life, Jesus Christ, it is necessary that all men do their maximum in their human efforts. Peace on earth and good will to men. This was his first message. In the same manner, when he went to the summit of calvary, he gave up his last breathe in forgiveness to his very tormentors. With these remarkable messages of the Lord Jesus, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all members of different church groups for extending their regular support to the Indian community in Oman irrespective of caste, creed or religion and especially the labor-class and the house-hold workers who deserve it the most…if we join hands together, the problems of Indians in this country will be minimized to a large extent. The Indian Embassy, through the community welfare fund, tries to know the problems of the needy to its maximum capacity.  And it could be highly praiseworthy if each one of us comes forward and joins hands for these social causes however big or small the contribution might be…I once again express my sincere thanks and appreciation to the organizers for this excellent evening allowing the indian community to share the essence of this festival with great spirit. And I’d like to wish all of you here a merry Christmas and a very happy new year. This season of carols and Christmas is of course a time to reflect on all the events of the past year and make resolutions for the new year ahead. As we celebrate Christmas, I think we should shed a tear also for those who have lost their near and dear ones in the Mumbai carnage 2 weeks ago. I wish you all a very prosperous and a very happy time in the year to come and also in the future as you go along in life. Thank you very much for coming again.