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BBC World Service plans tribute for Tsunami affected regions

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MUMBAI: Six months have passed since the natural disaster Tsunami affected Indonesia, The Maldives, Sri Lanka and Somalia. The BBC World Service is launching The Tsunami Audio Memorial, a project aimed at creating an audio tribute to the region     

The BBC is asking people who live in the Southern Asian region which was affected by the Tsunami, visited it or have family there, to contact them via a dedicated phone line and email address and send in their audio recordings.

Over the next six months, BBC World Service, BBC Radio 4 and BBC Asian Network will be gathering sounds and stories that evoke the colour, vibrancy and diversity of the region, as well as the events of 26 December 2004 and their aftermath.

These will be crafted into a series of programmes to be broadcast on the networks at the end of the year. The BBC is hoping that the resulting audio database will find a home and be accessible to anyone as a living memorial. The BBC states that the inspiration for the project comes from the Sonic Memorial Project in the US.

After the 9/11 attacks four years ago National Public Radio had asked American listeners to contribute their sounds and stories about the World Trade Center.

The areas affected by the Tsunami are rich in sound. Whether the evocations are of Indonesian fishermen bringing in their early morning catch, conch shells being blown at dawn or the cacophony of a traffic-filled street in Thailand – or stories and sounds related to the tsunami itself, such as mobile phone messages, holiday videos or the noise of reconstruction – the aim of the BBC's Tsunami Audio Memorial project is to commemorate the region and its people.

BBC World Service editor world programmes Maria Balinska says, "This is a very exciting and ambitious project. By reaching out to people all over the world, we hope to create a fitting tribute to those affected by the tsunami tragedy."

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