Organised by Music Mafia, World Konkani Day 2018 was celebrated at Ravindra Bhavan Margao on 8th and 9th April this year, 9th April being the death anniversary of Shenoi Goembab, noted Konkani activist in whose honour the day came to be known as World Konkani Day.
World Konkani Day celebrates our mother tongue – Konkani, something all Goans cherish. It may not seem so evidently important to us in Goa but for Goans around the world, it holds special meaning. ‘Every word, phrase or song in Konkani transports them back home, even if just for a moment.’
This year saw performances by Urja Naik Gaonkar (Saregamapa fame), Guilman D’Costa, Shaistah and Sidharth, Praveen Michael Dias, renowned sitar maestro Yograj Naik and comedy acts by Ben Evangelisto and Sally with dance performances by Maitrini.
Our very own Padma Bhushan awardee, Shri Laxman Pai and Goa’s most loved and revered Nightingale Lorna were felicitated at the hands of TCP Minister Vijai Sardesai and Shri Govind Gaude.
Stanley Marchon, a member of the Music Mafia, in an interview with Herald’s Features Editor, Dolcy D’Cruz, said, “World Konkani Day celebrates our identity, culture, and sense of belonging to our motherland Goa. This annual anniversary is a day that makes it easy for the Goan diaspora to enjoy our memories and look forward to it year after year. The hard work of the people keeping this flame alive needs to be encouraged so we can teach our love for Konkani to the generations to come.”
The Goan Diaspora and their efforts at keeping Konkani alive
Rene Baretto, founder of World Goa Day, brought together members of different global associations for Konkani. World Goa Day celebrations have stimulated a revival of Konkani in many of our Global Goan Association communities,” says Rene from the United Kingdom.
‘Amchi Mati, Amchi Bhaas’ is the theme of World Goa Day 2018 in California, USA. Says Joseph Lawrence head of the California Goans, “we make sure we have Konkani music at all our events, either in the form of live music, deejays or at least ambiance music.”
According to Gerard Lobo the President of the Goan Association of Australia, “When we catch up with our friends, we speak in Konkani.” Josefato Vales trains youngsters to get involved in Konkani. Currently, there are 6 associations in Australia itself.
Says Selwyn Kenneth Collaco, President of the Goan Overseas Association, Toronto, “We have organized events such as Konkan Nite and Viva Goa Festival that has a key focus on Konkani. This year, the Viva Goa festival will be headlining Goa’s nightingale, Lorna, along with a lifetime achievement award for her accomplishments, not only as an artist but as a woman who has contributed so much to our culture and music,” Viva Goa festival will be held on July 28, 2018.
Young Goans Club in Bahrain is 64 years old with over 400 members; Savio Ribeiro, a Saligaokar, based in Bahrain, is very active with Goans under the aegis of the club with Menino Fernandes. Says Savio, “For children born and brought up abroad, the onus is on the parents to speak the language at home and maybe even play Konkani hymns and songs in their houses”,
Caesar Pereira in Perth, Australia, heads the segment ‘The Chinchechim Bottam’ on the radio show ‘Goans On Air’, a one-hour light entertainment and informational program that is broadcast every Friday from 7 am to 8 am.
Perth has a 450 member strong Goan community, yet Konkani is not widely spoken at home, though the Konkani radio programmes do have a very good response. Says Frankey Fernandes from Melbourne, many children speak to their grandparents in Konkani when they call from Goa.
“All my friends from Goa speak in Konkani and we don’t feel shy to speak in public. My parents are fond of Konkani songs and tiatrs and there have been plenty of Goan celebrations in UK.” Says Flynn Vas from the UK.
Information Credit: Herald