Echoes of India

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Arjun, 19, and Arvind Kumar, 17, of Roslyn Heights, are carrying on the family tradition of singing Carnatic music. Both classical and spiritual, the music is based on religion and its roots are ancient, inspired by Hindu gods and goddesses. In South Indian culture, where the music is enmeshed in daily life -- heard over the radio, on television, at temples, weddings and parties -- the songs are sacred, akin to prayers.

Arjun Kumar, foreground, and Arvind Kumar perform in
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(Credit: Uli Seit)

Arjun Kumar, foreground, and Arvind Kumar perform in August at the Hindu Temple Community Center Auditorium in Flushing. (Aug. 17, 2013)

From left, Arjun, 19, mother Prabha Krishnan, Arvind,
(Credit: Uli Seit)

From left, Arjun, 19, mother Prabha Krishnan, Arvind, 17, and father Sushil Kumar at their Roslyn Heights home. (Oct. 13, 2013)

Arvind, left, and Arjun Kumar perform Carnatic music,
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(Credit: Uli Seit)

Arvind, left, and Arjun Kumar perform Carnatic music, the classical music of South India, during a 3 1/2-hour recital at Hindu Temple Community Center Auditorium in Flushing in August. (Aug. 17, 2013)

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Arjun and Arvind Kumar take Carnatic music lessons
(Credit: Uli Seit)

Arjun and Arvind Kumar take Carnatic music lessons from their teacher Saavitri Ramanand, who accompanies them on the tambura. (Oct. 13, 2013)

Kumar brothers Arjun, 19, left, and Arvind, 17,
(Credit: Uli Seit)

Kumar brothers Arjun, 19, left, and Arvind, 17, take a break from vocalizing and play soccer on the lawn of their Roslyn Heights home. (Oct. 13, 2103)

Arvind Kumar, a student at Duke University in
(Credit: Handout)

Arvind Kumar, a student at Duke University in Durham, N.C., plays violin with the school’s symphony orchestra. (Oct. 26, 2013)

Arjun Kumar, far right, sings in a South
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Arjun Kumar, far right, sings in a South Asian fusion a cappella group with other Stony Brook University students. (March 23, 2012)

Arjun and Arvind Kumar sat cross-legged on the
(Credit: Uli Seit)

Arjun and Arvind Kumar sat cross-legged on the stage and performed 18 compositions, in six different Indian languages, during a 3 1/2-hour recital at Hindu Temple Community Center Auditorium in Flushing in August. (Aug. 17, 2013)

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Teacher Saavitri Ramanand, fourth from left, listens as
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(Credit: Uli Seit)

Teacher Saavitri Ramanand, fourth from left, listens as the Kumar brothers perform their Carnatic vocal debut at the Hindu Temple Auditorium in Flushing in August. They had been training for this recital for 12 years. (Aug. 17, 2013)

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