Moving Tribute to the State of Israel

The song “Beautiful as the Moon” by Eviatar Banai in an exciting performance with ancient musical instruments

Moving Tribute to the State of Israel
Nati Shohat/FLASH90

About two months ago, the Israel-Japan-Nepal Triangular Partnership assistance program was launched at the initiative of the Israeli Embassy in Tokyo. Together with the Israeli Embassy in Kathmandu, and with JISP (Japan International Support Program), a Japanese aid organization with which the Israeli Embassy in Japan is in contact, assistance was provided to a unique community of musicians in Nepal who are preserving a musical tradition that is recognized by UNESCO. As part of the project, food packages and hygiene products were distributed to about 200 families.

Following the success of the project and wanting to “pay tribute” to Israel, two artists from the community sought to create their own version of a familiar Israeli song. The song that they selected is Eviatar Banai’s “Beautiful as the Moon.”

The song is played by members of the Gandharva community, Shyam Nepali and his son Prince Nepali. The two play a Nepalese violin-like instrument with an ancient tradition called the Sarangi. This tradition has been passed down from generation to generation among members of the community, and is in danger of disappearing as the younger generation increasingly turns to other professions.

Shyam is a famous figure in Nepal and in the world of traditional music, and he is considered a world-renowned Sarangi player. In addition, he serves as a mentor and now teaches Nepali music and traditional music at Harvard University.

Israel’s Ambassador to Japan, Yaffa Ben-Ari said: “At this time of dealing with the challenges of the corona epidemic at home, Israel continues to maintain the spirit of contribution and the importance of helping needy populations around the world. Within the context of the shared values between Israel and Japan, it was only natural to create this joint project between MASHAV and the Japanese organization JISP, for this all-important humanitarian effort.”

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