In Kerala’s Kottayam district, the stronghold of Syrian Orthodox Christianity, the Zumoro choir strives to keep the sacred language of its faith alive through liturgical music. The music of the Zumoro choir is part of the Orthodox Theological Seminary founded in 1815 by the Orthodox Church of Malankara.
Zumoro means song in the Syriac language and the members of this choir sing in Aramaic. Aramaic would be the language of Christ and Syriac its further development, an ancient and holy language for Christians all over the world.
Father MP George, who conducts the Zumoro choir, said: âIn our church we usually use Malayalam, Syriac and sometimes English. Officially, we use the Syriac language because it is considered to be the further development of Jesus’ mother tongue which was Aramaic. After the 1950s, our Father translated these ancient prayers and hymns from Syriac to Malayalam..Many manuscripts need to be translated, so we are teaching this language to the younger generation and also to some Syriac study centers. “
The Zumoro choir, which will celebrate its 200th anniversary this year, is one of the few places in the world where this rare musical tradition continues.