Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Over the years we've come across renditions of the Hebrew song Hevenu Shalom Aleichem in unexpected locations around the world. But none has been as unique as our discovery of this version in a chanting mantra in a part of India that you probably never heard of.
The video below was made in Auroville, an experimental township in Viluppuram district in the state of Tamil Nadu, India, near Puducherry in South India. It was founded in 1968 by Mirra Alfassa (known as "The Mother") and designed by architect Roger Anger. As stated in Alfassa's first public message about the township, "Auroville is meant to be a universal town where men and women of all countries are able to live in peace and progressive harmony, above all creeds, all politics and all nationalities. The purpose of Auroville is to realize human unity."
Although originally intended to house 50,000, as of May 2014 the actual population was 2,345 (1,804 adults and 541 minors), coming from 50 nationalities including 86 Americans and 31 Israelis. The community is divided up into neighborhoods with Tamil, English, French and Sanskrit names like Aspiration, Arati, La Ferme, Auromodel and Isaiambalam.
So if Hevenu Shalom Aleichem were to appear as a chanting mantra anywhere in the world, it shouldn't come as a surprise that it would happen in Auroville, India. The chant is led by Israeli singer Niva Harel.
SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS: THE VIDEO MAY NOT BE VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY ON SOME COMPUTERS AND TABLETS. YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)