A Tamil poem, a Kollywood music director, and a Chinese ensemble: Uniquely Singapore arts in COVID-19 times

The arts people in Singapore are coming together, in these trying times, to uplift the spirits of migrant workers who are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The COVID-19 Migrant Support Coalition, in collaboration with local Tamil music talent Mohamed Shabir Tabare Alam and The TENG Ensemble, have produced music video Thedichoru as part of a series of musical webisodes titled LETTERS. 

"We hope that by sharing these webisodes and co-creating our content with our migrant friends, we will be able to demonstrate solidarity and encourage resilience in the migrant community," the COVID-19 Migrant Support Coalition said in a post. 

The song Thedichoru also caught the attention of Minister S Iswaran, who shared it on his Facebook page, and said it was a uniquely Singapore creation – "A meaningful Tamil poem, sung by a Singaporean Indian musician and accompanied by a Chinese ensemble."

He also said the poem ‘Thedichoru’, by Tamil poet Mahakavi Bharathiyar, "encourages us to remain resilient in the face of adversity. It is a poignant message that all of us can get through these tough times, together."

Shabir starts by sharing his feelings about the poem, nay anthem, by Bharathiyar and recites the words before proceeding to sing it to the accompaniment of the TENG ensemble. He concludes his video with the poignant lines written by a migrant worker in Singapore from Tamil Nadu. 

Hear Shabir's words, recitation and song below: