KCA New Delhi Hosts Grand 'Konkani Ustav' Celebrations
New Delhi, Aug 18: KCA New Delhi organized 'Konkani Utsav' in association with the gurkar of Mandd Sobhann, Viswa Konkani Kala Ratan and Konkani Kala Samrat fame Eric Ozario, at the Community Centre, Cathedral Church compound, New Delhi recently.
As usual, the Konkani Utsav celebration started with the community celebration of the Holy Eucharist in Konkani at 5.15 pm. Fr Franklin D'Souza, the CBCI, and national executive secretary for youth affairs was the main celebrant. Fr Victor D'Souza, the Vicar General of the Archdiocese Fr Anil Walder and Fr Norbert Louis joined him to concelebrate the Holy Mass.
In his introductory welcome note and as well in his homily Fr Franklin D'Souza with his selective and chaste Konkani deliverance touched the hearts of the listeners. He stressed upon the collective effort needed for the preservation of one's culture and language, which can enrich one life. He also guided all to better understand the work of God in a most befitting manner. It is worth recalling here the contribution of Fr Franklin in the past month wherein he preached a one-day and later a three-day charismatic retreat in Konkani which was greatly appreciated by all the KCA members. Wilfred D'Souza thanked all the priests for praying for KCA and for giving the much-needed support in the growth of KCA in New Delhi and NCR area. Babita led the Konkani choir which added to the spiritual mood in celebrating the day’s liturgy.
Mangalorean and patron of KCA Dr Vincent Concesso, the Archbishop of Delhi, was the chief guest. He was extended a floral welcome to the function by KCA president Vincent Menezes. The other guests of honour were Fr Victor D'Souza the Vicar General of the Archdiocese, Sr Jyothi, BS, the former two time Superior General of the Bethany Congregation, Oscar Fernandes, member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha), Congress Working Committee Member and General Secretary of the Congress Party (he was also joined by his wife, son and daughter), and Maxwell Pereira IPS (Retd) Ex-Joint Commissioner of Delhi Police. All the guests of honour were greeted to a stimulating welcome with flower by Millgred Pinto, Helen Lobo, Elias Pinto and Jean Menezes respectively.
Thereafter the compere called upon Eric Ozario, gurkar of Mandd Sobhann, to place his thoughts before the KCA members and invitees. Ozario expressed his dissatisfaction over the forgetful and lethargic attitude that is being developed by the Konkani speaking people the world over towards Konkani language and its rich cultural heritage. He said, "Our language is one of the oldest languages recognized by the Indian government, but to popularize the same among us, in our family, in our society and in larger areas of the state and country, what we are doing is really not good enough. We need something that would re-energize our love for our mother tongue," he said.
He stressed that the Constitution of a country makes all the citizens law abiding and if anyone breaks the law of the land, he gets punished. "Even the Catholic Church has Ten Commandments and 5 Church Commandments and the faithful follow them for a better living. Any violation of the commandments and Church laws will leave one away from the love of God as well as from the association of the Church."
He then compared the same to Konkani language and drew a few inferences. He said that 10 commandments for Konkani are relevant and very much needed to ensure Konkani stays alive.
The Ten Commandments for Konkani are as follows:
1. Konkani is our mother tongue; love and respect it
2. Speak Konkani and let it bloom
3. Write Konkani and then only it will survive / prosper
4. When you speak to god in prayer , speak to him in Konkani
5. While speaking Konkani make use of pure Konkani vocabulary
6. Make use of the rich Konkani culture and heritage in your daily lives
7. Do conserve, encourage and propagate konkaani literature and arts
8. Diversities of Konkani should be respected. Unite for Konkani even in diversity
9. Let at least one percent of your earnings be dedicated for Konkani and its causes
10. When our language and culture undergo adversities, take care and protect them.
His heart-touching appeal for Konkani was timely and left everyone speechless, as everyone felt that not enough had been done by them for their mother tongue and culture and it was vouched that no effort would be spared for this cause.
Educational award in the form of certificates and cash award for the year 2011-2012 were handed over to 50 students. Archbishop Vincent Consserao and Oscar Fernandes along with his wife Blossom Fernandes did the honours.
The chief guest felicitated the singer couple and their group by offering them flowers. Along with their group, Eric Ozario and his wife Joyce with their melodious and vibrant voice sang some of the most nostalgic Konkani folk songs, which brought the entire audience alive and kept them upbeat throughout. Earlier, Babita and the Youth Group sang memorable Konkani and English medley, which was greatly appreciated, especially by Eric Ozario, who spoke words of encouragement and appreciated their effort.
In his speech the chief guest profoundly thanked Eric Ozario for the remarkable and tireless work he has done over the years for the cause of Konkani and wished him all success in his future endeavours. While he congratulated all the recipients of education awards, he also urged them to study hard as the time meant for studies should be utilized fruitfully for a better future. He also had a word of advice to all the parents to speak Konkani at home and urged them initiate their children to this divine language. "Otherwise," he said, "it may be forgotten soon. As we live away from our mother land this is the link and uniting force which should be nurtured and encouraged."
KCA also assured the gurkar of Mandd Sobhann that it would make all-out efforts to organize a three-day workshop for restoration of Konkani language, culture and literature during this October holidays for children and elders. The only lucky gift hamper draw went to Oscar Fernandes. Wilfred D'Souza was the master of ceremony and was the compere for the evening function. Vincent Menezes, KCA president, thanked one and all for coming and making the evening a successful one. Around 300 members including children were present. The day’s festivity ended with a fellowship meal.