by Clarence Pinto
Pics Dilip Correa
Daijiworld Media Network Oman
Ghala, Sep 8: The celebrations of exhibiting great traditions of Mangalore or Coastal Karnataka by the Konkani Community living here in the Sultanate of Oman continued. On Thursday, 6th September 2007, it was held at Saint Anthony’s church, Sohar and on Friday, 7th September, the Konkani speaking community of Holy Spirit Church, Ghala parish had organized a ceremony to specially honor Heavenly Mother, bless the new harvest corn flown from India, have a traditional meal, Novem to show unity in the community and then, the last but not the least a cultural event to enthrall the audience.
The recent devastating and terrible cyclone “Gonu” had damaged major part of the church building with water and mud. But, it was due the courage, hard work and determination of the Ghala parishioners, Holy Spirit Church got its original shape and place of worship. Konkani speaking community with their usual community services attitude helped this church authorities and priests to recover from their hardships and damages.
After the recitation of the Holy Rosary, the Monthi Fest 2007 ceremony started at the Grotto with the blessings of the Bambino (Statue of Infant Mother), new corn brought from Mangalore and holy pictures by Fr. Roshan Cyril Menezes, a Capuchin priest, specially arrived from Bangalore for the Monthi Fest Celebrations in Oman, Fr Albert D’Silva, OFM Cap. Mangalorean priest from Sts. Peter and Paul Church Ruwi, Fr . John Fernandes, parish priest of Holy Spirit Church, Ghala. When the choir sang “ moriyek hogoll’shiyam” (Let us praise our mother) hymn children joyfully showered flowers and honored Infant Mary.
After the showering of flowers, Holy Mass celebration commenced in the church. Fr. Roshan Cyril Menezes, was the main celebrant. Fr Albert D Silva and Fr. John Fernandes had joined as concelebrants. Fr. Roshan in his beautiful homily highlighted humble nature of great people and thus, inspired the faithful to have Mother Mary’s simplicity and humbleness.
Konkani Choir, led by Bernard Moras, supported by Nirmala Goveas, Ronald Lobo, Hubert, Molly Pinto, Lilly D Souza and many other singers, sang traditional hymns.
After the mass, corn and holy pictures were distributed to all the faithful and treat packets were given to all the children.
After the spiritual ceremony, A. L. Monis, well-known Konkani activist and Stany Jovin Menezes, prominent Mangalorean leader of Ghala Parish and Parish Council Member and their supportive committee had organized a beautiful cultural program to entertain the community people and also Traditional Meal (Novem Jevann) at the basketball court.
After a welcome address by Lavina D’Sa, upcoming Konkani writer and one of the program coordinator, Fr. Roshan, Fr. Albert and Fr. John were escorted to the stage by A. L. Monis and Stany Menezes. Floral bouquets were presented to all the dignitaries on the stage as a token of gratitude and expressions of love. After the prayers seeking Heavenly blessings on each and everyone by Fr Albert, the traditional lamp (Divo) was lit by all the dignitaries on the stage. Novem and Mangalorean delicacies prepared by various families were blessed. Stany Jovin Menezes, invited the guests and members of the community to the bouquet of Mangalorean tradition.
When the community people enjoyed sumptuous food prepared by the community members in the specially arranged tables, there was a grand cultural program anchored Lavina D Sa.
To start with, a tableau on Saint Joachim, Saint Anna and child Mary was meaningfully presented by Bernard Moras, Nancy Moras, Rochel Lobo, Elrika Frank, Liza D’Sa with a commentary from Paul Rodrigues. Tableau was suitably supported by a song to our beloved mother by Tania Pinto, Molly Pinto, Ronald Lobo, Reenal Lobo, Hubert, Vivian, Lilly D Souza. Music was provided by Loy Lobo.
Pavs Yencho Jala – a dance with traditional coastal Karnataka costume was presented by Priyanka Mendonca, Gloria D Souza, Sheryl Menezes, Melissa Goveas and Shannon Menezes.
Hubert and Sabrina entertained the audience with a Konkani song “Uzvad Chandremacho” and then, Glanet Castelino, a cheerful dancer of the community presented Hindi Dance “Shakalaka Boom” . Ronald Lobo and Vivian sang “Bhava Jaithe Zon Kajar Zale”
Young dancing prodigy, Mellisa Goveas, daughter of well-known Konkani writer and activist, Nirmala Goveas, presented a scintillating Hindi dance.
There were few good entertaining musical numbers by Joylin, Hubert, Vivian and Josna Joseph. A. L. Monis with his usual witty dialogues conducted the bonanza. There were many spot prizes in between the program to bring cheer to the crowd.
The musicians supported the program were Elisha Furtado, Josuva Furtado, Lester Sequiera and Royston D Souza.
The sponsors of the event were Clifford Sanctis and family – Hydrotech, Vincent and Dolly Gomes, A. L. Monis, Shridar of Bhacker Sulaiman, Arthur of Sweets of Oman, Sujit – Mehdi Stores, Varghese – Oman Foodstuff Company, Subramaniam – National Biscuits, Iganatius Castelino – Coca Cola, Stany Jovin Menezes – Al Safwah, Dolphy Vaz and Claud Frank.
It was certainly a great experience for all the Konkani speaking people of Ghala Parish enjoying a sumptuous traditional meal and showing unity in their living in Oman.