PETALING JAYA: A video of a Muslim woman delivering a heartfelt rendition of the Christian hymn Ave Maria in church at the funeral service of her best friend has gone viral in Indonesia.
According to news portal Coconuts Jakarta, the Muslim woman, dressed in a headscarf, sang the hymn as a final tribute to Chatarina Suyanti.
The video was first spotted in a Facebook post by Budi Soehardi, who said that a friend had recently seen the woman in the video singing at the funeral service of her best friend.
“That (Monday) morning, I attended the requiem mass at the Bogor Cathedral Church. As a last honour (before they closed the casket), the song ‘Ave Maria’ was sung by a female soloist wearing a hijab with a tremendous feeling of appreciation.
“That is the beauty of friendship that doesn’t focus on differences,” the news portal said of the Facebook post which was written in Bahasa Indonesia.
The post quickly went viral with over 13,000 shares at the time of writing, and 25,000 Facebook users reacting to the post. Many also left warm messages of hope about the beauty of Islam, the deep friendship the two women obviously shared and the melodious voice of the soloist.
Twitter user Rexy Ambarwati meanwhile posted a different video of the same performance, which was also shared several thousand times.
Commenting on the Muslim woman’s tribute, Coconuts Jakarta wrote, “The bond between Chatarina and her friends fills us with hope that the worries about rising religious intolerance in Indonesia really are overblown, that they don’t represent the majority of Indonesians and that the government and others will be strong enough to take the steps necessary to end faith-based discrimination in this country.”
The report also said that Indonesia needed more people like the soloist, who were “brave enough to show us the way”.