‘CHENDA, finds home in Sydney’ is a short documentary made by Sydney based Indian-Australian film maker Emie Roy that shines a light on a percussion instrument, Chenda, crucial to connecting South Indians living in Sydney.
The film follows an extraordinary group of western Sydney musicians as they prepare for a performance, unfurling the fascinating story behind their connection to the instrument.
The Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre (part of Indian Council for Cultural Relations) recently organised the screening of this documentary at the Consulate General of India in Sydney.
‘CHENDA, finds home in Sydney’
The maker of the film Emie Roy says that through the percussion instrument ‘Chenda’, the film is also telling the story of a few amazing musicians who found a sense of belonging through the collective identity they developed – something that might resonate with every migrant!
This project was funded by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, with support from the NSW Government through Create NSW and Blacktown City Council.
Emie feels that the film getting screened by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations in Sydney makes for an amazing amalgamation of two cultures that we represent, as migrants, who have settled in Australia.
The screening was followed by an insightful panel discussion on the topic, ‘migrant storytelling’, with eminent panelists, – Dr Harinath OAM, Chairperson Multicultural NSW, – Sharon Rundle, writer, editor and academic – Virat Nehru, writer and film programmer and KP Jose, President, IndOz Rhythms.
The attendees at the screening also witnessed the energy of India’s ancient musical legacy when ‘IndOz Rythms’, the subject of the film, upped the tempo with their live performance of ‘Chenda Melam’.
We also spoke to KP Jose, President, IndOz Rhythms, who mentioned that Chenda is about 4000 years old and that they would like to pass on this art to the next generation who are the trustees of our legacy.