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Report by Clarence Pinto
Muscat, Dec 11: The annual get-together of the Mogaveera community living in Oman was held at the beautiful surrounding of PDO Cricket grounds near Qurum. When the Eid festival sprinkled the festive joy and celebrations around Sultanate, the brave Mogaveera families embraced each other to celebrate their togetherness in a unique way.
Mogaveeras are the major fishing community in the coastal Karnataka region of south India. They form one of the largest communities of the Tulunadu (Tulu speaking people of the western coast of India) and famous for their bravery and hardships. The word 'Mogaveera' is a modernized version of the old word 'Mogeyar'.
Mogaveeras are strongly and uniquely dominate the fishing and marine industry business in the coastal Karnataka region. They are spread out all over the coastal Karnataka region including Kasargod, Udupi, Kundapur and Karwar. Many have migrated from their native villages in search of a prosperous career to Mumbai, Bangalore, Gulf countries and also to USA, UK and Australia. It is a well-known fact that due to their bravery and determination, Mogaveeras were the first people from South Canara / Udupi to visit Bombay (present Mumbai) and coastal region of Gujarat and Saurastra in the north region and Colombo in the South.
The Mogaveer youth are traditionally known for bravery. The naval force of the famed Queen Abbakka of Ullal consisted of brave Mogaveera youth. With the support of the strong navy she could mount a valiant attack against invading Portuguese in the eighteenth century. The famous surnames of Mogaveeras are Amin, Bangera, Chandan, Gujaran, Kanchan, Karkera, Kotian, Kunder, Maindan, Mendon, Pangal, Puthran, Salian, Shriyan, Suvarna, Thingalaya, Das, Gurikara, Marakala \ Marakalthi(men and women respectively), Mogaveera, Naika, Padubidri, Rao, Sapaliga, Tandela and Tholar
The annual Mogaveera event of 2008 commenced with the cricket tournament for men. There were four teams, Mangalore XI, Suratkal XI, Kaup XI and Udupi XI, participated in the tournament. After interesting and hard fought matches, Udupi XI won the winners’ trophy and Mangalore XI secured the second place.
“The annual get-together function had been organized by our Mogaveeras living in Oman for the last 20 years in the Sultanate of Oman” says Dr Shekar Salian, an eminent physician of the Muscat region, known Indian to the majority of the expatriates living in Ruwi and an instrumental for the Mogaveera annual event. He fondly remembered two pillars of the Mogaveera community in Muscat, Bhuvanendra Kidiyoor, a famous entrepreneur and hotelier of coastal Karnataka region and the late Shantaram who helped and inspired the community to come together and thus meet and share their joyful moments in these annual events. “We affectionately remember the support and inspiration given by the late Shantaram and Bhuvanendra Kidiyoor. They were supporting the community events with full spirit. We used to have two annual events. One during Diwali season and second, during the Eid-Al-Adha festival time. We used to meet in Mutrah hotel, back in 1988 and celebrate Diwali and annual sports events at the various venues.” When narrating the Mogaveera events Dr Salian was in a jubilant mood. “Many of us look forward to these annual celebrations since the community members get an opportunity to meet their loved ones. Our people are spread across Muscat and till Sohar town and hence, this is also a reason to travel from their work place and take part in this community gathering. As we all know, it difficult to meet all the community people very often and hence, this is a special occasion where we meet and share joy and happiness.”
The current organizing team consists of P Y Kotian, well-known community activist and entrepreneur, Dr Shekar Salian, Tarnath Kotian, Madhav Suvarna, Sadanand Amin, Pradeep Shriyan, Ramanand Kunder, Prakash Naik, Naveen Kumar, Devanand, Ashok Kotian, Ashith Salian, Harish Kotian and Sudhakar Karkera.
The fun and frolic events of the sports were thoroughly enjoyed by young and adults of the community. Lemon-and-spoon race for children below 10 years, Breaking the Pot (Blind folded) for children above 10 years and ladies, bowl out game for ladies, three-legged race for bachelors, brick-walk game (crossing the bridge) for couples were the major attraction. Lucky Mogaveera contest attracted many participants. There were many surprise gifts and prizes for the participants.
Sumptuous and traditional lunch was served with Meen (fish) fry, kori sukka (chicken dry curry), Mangalore style sambhar, Tendli curry and payasa (sweet dish).
When www.daijiworld.com spoke to Sadanand Amin and Tarnath Kotian, the prominent members of the community, they expressed their real joy of participating in this gathering. “It is really fun to be here and spend time with our community members. It brings out the sweet memories of Mangalore alive here in Muscat. It is fun for our children also. We are also able to show our tradition to our children so that they can carry it to the next generation.”
The joyful day ended with the distribution of prizes. Mogaveeras left the venue saying good bye to each other – “nana vora thikkk’ga….. Dever yedde maltherda nana vonjji vorusod kuda thik’ga….”