'The real face of Indonesia': Video of singing nun joining Islamic pop performance goes viral

Sister Yunita of the Sisters of Charity of St Charles Borromeo had practised with the Miftahul Jannah qasidah group before taking the stage at a celebration for the anniversary of the Jakarta Archdiocese's Civita Youth Camp in Ciputat, Banten.
Sister Yunita of the Sisters of Charity of St Charles Borromeo had practised with the Miftahul Jannah qasidah group before taking the stage at a celebration for the anniversary of the Jakarta Archdiocese's Civita Youth Camp in Ciputat, Banten. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM YOUTUBE VIDEO

JAKARTA (THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A video showing Christian nuns singing and dancing with a qasidah (Islamic pop music) group went viral over the weekend, with netizens praising it as a heart-warming example of interfaith acceptance amid rising intolerance across the country.

The video was first uploaded to the Indonesian Bishops Conference (KWI) YouTube channel last Wednesday (Jan 16) and went viral after Twitter user @qasimin, who specialises in making memes out of qasidah music videos, tweeted a clip of the video the next day.

According to the KWI's official website, mirifica.net, Sister Yunita of the Sisters of Charity of St Charles Borromeo had practised with the Miftahul Jannah qasidah group before taking the stage at a celebration for the anniversary of the Jakarta Archdiocese's Civita Youth Camp in Ciputat, Banten. Her fellow nuns joined in as background dancers.

The song performed by the group was called Jilbab Putih (White Headscarf) and Sister Yunita pointed to her own white headscarf when singing the lyrics.

"White headscarf, symbol of holiness," the nun and the qasidah group sang. "White headscarf, like light that is shining in the middle of a dark night."

Twitter users applauded the video and chimed in with their own examples of religious tolerance.

"As an ethnic-Chinese and a Christian that once joined in singing qasidah at school, I like this," Twitter user @jen_l4u said.

"It doesn't lessen our faith but strengthens our unity," @benobenyoh said.

"The real face of Indonesia," gushed @dapedwepe.

The video comes not long after a cross in a cemetery of a predominantly Muslim neighbourhood of Yogyakarta was destroyed because residents objected to a Christian symbol in the public burial ground.

A cross-shaped mosaic in Surakarta, Central Java, was also recently painted over despite denials that it had anything to do with Christianity.