Starting with just 20 members, the Chin youth choir has tremendously grown since its establishment in 2011. Now functioning with more than 90 members, Adelaide Chin Christian Church Pastor, Cung Hnin, shares how the choir’s formation was an avenue to guide young people. “In Australia, everyone is free to do as they choose; individualism is the feature of the Australian society. So, if we left our young people as individuals in Australia, there was no way that we could counsel them and guide them to become a contributing citizen, community member and church member. As a newly migrated community, we needed to create an environment where young people could regularly come, support one and another, and function as a group,” he said.
Although choir may be viewed as an outdated form of music by some, Pastor Cung credits the platform as being an effective way to bring young people together, given the passion Chin people have for singing and music. “The best way to give our young people such a platform where they could regularly meet and participate was through choir,” he said.
In the past four years, the choir has made over 20 public appearances at Refugee Week, events hosted by the Australian Migrant Resource Centre, conferences facilitated by churches, church openings, and special functions organised for children and by Rotary Clubs.
The choir also regularly performs during church service on Sundays, with their performance vastly improving in previous years. With an increase of young people, Pastor Cung also notes that it’s difficult to keep them in the choir. “They think the choir would be fine even without them participating because we have more numbers now. More of our young people have jobs and other commitments, but we are committed to encouraging them to continue participating in the choir,” he said.