Not the traditional devotion, but a new continuous singing record. Indian Catholics of the town of Mangalore have eclipsed the thirty-six hour record set by Brazilian Lutheran singers in 2004.
Sister Juliet Lobo, a Queen of the Apostles nun who helped conduct the record-breaking performance, told UCA News that about 1,700 singers in 44 groups sang continuously, with less than 10 seconds between songs and between singing groups. The singers mostly came from Catholic parishes in Mangalore, Goa and Maharashtra, but also included Konkani-speaking Catholics from Persian Gulf countries.
“Konkani language and our Catholic faith are linked to each other, and we cannot separate one from the other,” Sister Lobo said.
Mandd Sobhann, a Konkani cultural organization, organized the Konkani Nirantari (continuous) program. Its founder, Eric Ozario, told UCA News the aim was to “instill a sense of pride, self-esteem and oneness among Konkani-speaking people around the world.”
“We are a small community and Westernization is eating away our culture,” said Ozario, who insisted a community grows “only when it is united, culturally rooted and proud of its culture.” Due to migration and other social causes, some Konkani-speaking Catholics have over time switched “to an English culture, forgetting their rich cultural roots,” he said.
I was surprised to hear of the strict conditions set: a maximum of ten seconds between each song, no song repeated, no singer appearing a second time. I wonder if instrumental introductions, endings, and interludes were permitted to be included in that.