EGYPT: Eporro - George Sadak
Though this Coptic Christmas hymn might not sound so traditional to its Western listeners, the song is in fact a part of the festive celebrations in Egypt, where the majority of Copts live. Collaborating with Chicagoan Celtic folk singer Fae Wiedenhoeft, Sadak shows off his percussive skills on the Egyptian tabla (dumbek) on this track, to make this perhaps the most ‘world music’ sounding song that we have chosen to highlight on our advent calendar series. Though this is not a traditional version of the song, as it is usually sung as a hymn in church, Sadak and Wiedenhoeft’s version show off the Arabian twang that highlights the Coptic influence upon their cover, as well as keeping the religious essence of the song. The Copts are the largest Christian denomination in Egypt as well as in Sudan and Libya, with a large diaspora across the world with a sizable population based in North America. In the month-long lead up to Christmas (which they celebrate on January 7th) they refrain from eating meat, as well as sing special Kiahk tunes on Saturday evenings as part of the preparations for the breaking of the fast.