Sunday, June 13, 2010

...Like a Noisy Vuvuzuela, or a Clashing Cymbal...

The South African organisers of the World Cup are getting a bit of pressure to ban the vuvuzuela. I'm not yet aware of any church embracing them as a fresh expression of irritation:

Jordaan (the South African organiser) admitted he was not a huge fan of them himself. "I would prefer singing," he said.
"It's always been a great generator of a wonderful atmosphere in stadiums and I would try to encourage them to sing.
"In the days of the struggle (against apartheid) we were singing, all through our history it's our ability to sing that inspired and drove the emotions."

I'm struck by these comments about singing, and its place in history and culture. Occasionally there's debates here and elsewhere about the place of singing in church, and whether it's off-putting to newcomers, or people who aren't used to singing. Culturally, I'm not really sure where the UK is at. We'll do mass singalongs at football matches and concerts, but singing in smaller gatherings is now pretty unusual. There was a picture of a South African living room on the news a couple of nights ago, complete with dancing, vuvuzuelas, etc., in a gathering of roughly a dozen people. We Brits need lots more than that to get the anonymity we need to lose our inhibitions.

But perhaps if there was a cacophonous din that could only be drowned out by loud corporate singing, we might find our voices again....?

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