by Kevin Saldanha
Brooklyn (NY), Sep 18:Over 240 people from the New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Connecticut areas gathered together on Saturday September 15th, 2012 at Our Lady of Angels RC Church in Brooklyn, NY for the Mangalorean Catholic Association of the East Coast’s (MCA-EC) Monti Fest 2012 celebration. For the first time in MCA-EC's history, Monti Fest was celebrated in New York. Great weather coupled with a beautiful auditorium created a perfect setting for a feast to remember.
The event was kicked off by a traditional konkani mass which was presided over by Fr. Arun Lobo, MCA-EC's 2012-2013 Spiritual Director along with Fr. Walter Mendonca (Svd, Director of Divyavani Retreat, Belgaum) and Fr. Shanthi Reddy (Hyderabad). Fr. Mendonca's stirring homily on the importance of Monti Fest kept the congregation's attention and reminded most members of the traditional mass experience back in the Mangalore. Various MCA-EC members volunteered for readings and the choir was led by Vijai Furtado. The Master of Ceremony was RoshanD'Mello who orchestrated the event beautifully and kept the audience entertained with humorous anecdotes and one-liners.
The traditional mass concluded with over 40 children participating in a flower offering session. Flowers brought by members were collected and distributed to children and the colorful array of petals looked beautiful in the hands of adorable children. It was a delight to watch kids bury the statue of Infant Mary with roses, marigolds and lilies.
Flower offering was followed by delicousmangalorean style vegetarian lunch which was catered by MCA-EC members: Pothrade, Alu-Dento, Tendli&Channa, Kuvalo Curry, Karamb, Vukda Rice (Leo Lobo, NY); AlsandeSukka (Steven Aranha, NY); Jeera Rice, Kultha Chutney (Diana Menezes, NY); Banana Podi (Anthony Seravo, NY) and Payasam (SanthanMendonca, NJ). To emphasize the level of tradition, everyone was served on banana leaves, as is the custom in the villages of Mangalore.
The cultural programming segment after lunch was the highlight of the afternoon. The featured item was a fancy dress competition conducted by ManeshAranha and JaisonBanji. The participants and winners were as follows:
• Age 7 & Below: Nathan Alex Mendonca, SanyaAranha, Sherine Lobo, KiyashaMascarenhas, ShanessaAranha, JiselleDsouza, Joslyn Aranha, JovinSeravo (Winner - Robot) and Luke Menezes
• Kids 8-12: Seanna Lobo, Venora Furtado, JoelynAranha, Melanie Mendonca, Miguel Mascarenhas, MeldonMendonca and OrranMendonca (Winner – Astrologer/Guru)
• Kids 12-18: Vinuth Furtado (Winner – Angry Birds)
• Adults 19 & Above: MithilaSaldanha, ReenaMenezes (Winner – Fisherman and Family), PremillaMendonca, Merlin Mendonca, Melvin Mendonca and Melvin Mendonca
The drama, comedy, dance and music that followed kept the audience at the edge of their seats and were cheering all day.
• DharavDharv song NY: Lead Singers - SanyaAranha, Luke Menezes, Liston Lobo & other NY Kids
• Family Prayer Konkani Skit: Saritha Pinto, ArineAranha, WenolaTauro, Clayton Monis, Susanna Dsouza, Melvin Mendonca, Gladwin Dsouza, OrranMendonca
• VodleVodleUlai Skit: Steven Aranha, Sujatha Pereira, Paul Quadras, Side act: Saritha Lobo and ShynaQuadras
• ChamakChalo Dance: Cleon Monis, JiselleD'souza, Aaron D'souza, Jennifer Fernandes, Shaun D'Mello, Sheryl D'Mello, AnikaFernandes, Amelia D'Souza, Venora Furtado, Melody Pinto, Melanie Mendonca, Michelle D'Souza
• GunesthSunn (Virtuous Daughter-in-Law): Violet Monis, Vanitha Furtado, Mark Mendonca
• VodloPundithKhon: ArunMenezes, Steven Aranha, Sujatha Pereira
• Stone Soup Skit: Macauley Pinto, Clayton Monis, Vinuth Furtado, Susanna Dsouza, Leann Rego, Juanita Pinto, Jonathan Pinto, WenolaTauro, OrranMendonca, MeldonMendonca, Melanie, Mendonca, AnnlynFernandes, Darryl D'Souza
• Maujha Hi Maujha Dance: AldrinRego, Vanitha Furtado, Karen Arumugam, ArineAranha, Juanita Pinto, Samson Sequeira
• Moriadkadli Skit: Anthony Fernandes& Kenneth Monteiro
• Dance by Shaina& Party NY: ShynaQuadras and Seanna Lobo
• Jai Ho Dance: Ashley D'Souza, MeldonMendonca, OrranMendonca, Juanita Pinto, Darryl D'Souza, Leann rego, WenolaTauro, Jonathan Pinto, AnnlynFernandes, Clayton Monis, Vinuth Furtado, Susanna D'Souza
• BevdeachiGazal Skit: by Harry Pinto &Vijai Furtado
• Medley of English songs: Vernon Kamath, Venetia Kamath, Barbara Kamath, Bianca Rodrigues and Shilpa Rodrigues
• LadrukChedvanMarle: Stany Lobo, Paul Quadras, ArunMenezes, Side act: FlorineDsouza, MontiQuadras
• VandheMataram Dance combined by live Konkani song: Anita Pinto, SarithaPinto,VijaiFurthado, Anthony Fernandes, Melvin Mendonca, KiranSaldanha, Michelle D’Souza , Simi Dsouza, Samson Seqiera, AldrinRego, VanithaFurthado, MithilaSaldanha, Merlin Mendonace, PammyMendonca, Kenneth Monteiro, Gladwin D’Souza, Aldrinrego, Samson Sequeira, Merlin Mendonca, Pamela Mendonca, GladsonCardoza, Karen Arumugam, ManeshAranha, ArineAranha, Violet Monis, Christopher Monis, Eric Correa, Marina Correa, SmithaD'Mello
VP of Membership, ArunMenezes concluded the festivities in Konkani, thanking every key contributor by name for all the hard work and commitment toward putting such a grand event Before departing, members were served delicious snacks: Onion Bhajias, Pineapple Sheera (Anthony Seravo, NY) along with tea/coffee.
The MCA-EC encourages members to keep in touch with via our Facebook Link or visit our website at www.mca-ec.org for more information on the association.
-Note: The MCA-EC Christmas details will be posted, shortly, including date, time and venue. Stay tuned!