There are various aspects wherein the East Indian customs have amalgamated with religion.
During the last week of Lent, it used to be quite common to hear a group of male voices going from street to street singing the "Papya". One mad be able to hear this at a few areas which are dominated by East Indians. Due to Govt. Regulations and lack of support from the Church, this beautiful and extremely pious singing is steadily dying. The men singing the "Papya" usually cover their heads and hold candles whilst walking late at night. Their strong voices are easily carried, and those who hear it say a short prayer. After every stanza a wooden rattler is sounded, as no bells can be rung till Easter. To small children this sad hymn of only male voices, sounds quite frightening. The elders in the house normally do not encourage the children to go to see the procession of "Papya".
Another famous East Indian culture with regards to Len is the singing of the "Puran". This concise depiction of the passion, death and rising of Our Lord Jesus Christ, written poetically in Marathi by Father Thomas Stephens(1549-1619), around the 16th Century. This Marathi Puran is written in English typography. The Marathi Puran is sung with no accompaning musical instruments.
Click here, if you'd like to hear Papya and/or verses of the Marathi Puran
East Indians have a very strong faith in the Virgin Mary. During the month of May, the entire village gather together to welcome Our Lady into their village. The villagers get the image of Our lady from the church with music, hymns and prayers. They take the entire route through the villages, touching upon the various wayside crosses that have been bordering the villages since hundreds of years. The whole night goes in prayers. The next day there is a mass in Marathi, after which the image is returned to the church, again with band music, hymns and prayers.
Christmas is celebrated with much enjoyment. It is often that we see groups of young christians going door to door singing Carols, and spreading the joyous Spirit.
In order to preserve the East Indian language and culture, an attempt has been made to compile traditional and devout religious hymns that have been instrumental in sustaining our faith, through a CD and Booklet :
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