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Sound of Music: Asiad theme song hit with athletes

109   //    22 Aug 2018, 12:11 IST

By Bharat Sharma

Palembang, Aug 22 (PTI) Indonesia is receiving constant criticism for its traffic woes in Jakarta and Palembang in the ongoing Asian Games but it has also done a lot of things right, including the immensely popular theme song which is also available in Hindi.

The song, which has been released in six different languages Bahasa, Hindi, Arabic, Korean, Japanese and Thai is a huge hit among the athletes.

The original version called 'Meraih Bintang' (reach for the stars), sung by Indonesia's rising dangdung music star Vi Vallen, has expectedly garnered the most hits on Youtube -- 31 million -- since it was released 50 days ago ahead of the August 18-September 2 Asian Games. Dangdung is a form of Indonesian pop inspired from Hindustani, Malay and Arabic.

The Hindi version, sung by Siddharth Slathia, had close to two million hits at the time of writing.

The organisers have actually launched a full-fledged Games album, featuring 13 songs.

On the streets of Jakrata and Palembang, at Games Village and the sporting venues, 'Meraih Bintang' is being played on the loop.

"It is really catchy even though I don't understand the language (Bahasa). It keeps me going during competition," 15-year-old Thai shooter Natsara Champalat told PTI.

When told there was also a Thai version of the song, Champalat was quick to point that "it is mostly in English with very little Thai in it".

The song has been created to celebrate the unifying spirit of the Games and motivate the 11,000 plus athletes from 45 countries competing at the quadrennial event. It also promotes dangdung.

Another song has that has been pepping up the athletes is called 'Non Political'.

"Love is our language, peace is our weapon. W don't need no politician, we all just want to dance," these are the opening two lines of the high-energy song featuring Slank, the biggest Indonesian rock band.

"I have been to other Games but the theme songs there did not create a buzz. What they have done is great. The songs have a very global appeal to it," said Bahraini athlete Ali Hussain.

Waka Waka, the anthem of 2010 World Cup in South Africa, is easily the most popular song to have come out of major sporting events in recent times.

India too had a song for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi but it did not catch the attention of the athletes and general public despite being an A R Rahman composition.

India's young trap shooter, Lakshay Sheoran, relies heavily on music to relax himself. Lakshay shot his way to a silver medal on Monday as the theme song played in the background. He was even seen grooving to it.

"Mein music mein kho jaata hoon (I get lost in the music to focus). It was the case today also," Lakshay had told PTI after his memorable feat

Press Trust of India (PTI) is a news agency in India
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