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Indian song and dance is a Divine Delight

Last update - Thursday, July 16, 2009, 17:57 By Charlie Johnson

From India to Ireland is a long way to travel to perform – especially when you’re not being paid.

But for Sister Pushpanjali Paul, the effort is worth it.
“We are here to give a message of peace, unity, and harmony,” she says. “It’s about celebrating the divine presence.”
Sister Paul, a nun with the Missionary Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit, and Raashie Singh, a Hindu, concluded their short Irish tour of Divine Delight – their intercultural music and dance performance – last Sunday at the Lantern Centre on Dublin’s Synge Street.
The duo previously brought their show to Waterford, Maynooth and Cork, marking the first time they have performed the inter-religious celebration abroad.
“Back in India, I organise programmes along social themes, moral themes and I present them for inter-religious groups,” says Sr Paul. “It’s fantastic to bring them to people around the world.”
Divine Delight combines traditional Indian dance and music with original compositions accompanied by scripture quotations emphasising the power and glory of the divine.
“We want to try to give the message to the audience, but not for them to just be an audience,” says Sr Paul. “We want them to come along with us in spirit as we perform.”
The free show (though donations were welcomed) is one of many that Sr Paul, who hails from Bhopal in India, has produced over the years. Even before she joined her convent in 1979, she had already written several albums’ worth of spiritual songs.
Since then she has recorded 15 albums of sacred songs and composed over half a dozen original dance programmes with spiritual and inter-cultural themes.
“All of my religious life, even before I entered the convent, it was my passion,” says Sr Paul about her spiritual approach to music. “The message goes across on a faster and deeper level.
“I have always known I’ve had a God-given talent and I love to involve other religious participants in the programmes so they are collaborative and promote an inter-religious dialogue.”
As part of this work, Sr Paul has been deeply involved in the founding of the art ashram Sadhana-Sanchar, which translates to ‘Communication-Communion’ in English, and is designed to provide an inter-religious experience through the use of meditation and other religious practices.
“I want people in Ireland to feel free to come to the art ashram,” she says. “We want to let everyone know that we are one – one human family under one umbrella. It’s been a joy to share this with the Irish people in this beautiful country.”

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