News and Pics By Ancy Paladka
For Daijiworld Media Network—Mumbai (CN)
Mumbai, Aug 24: The Goan Review Art Foundation (GRAF) celebrated 'World Konkani Day 2008' in the metro at the Goan Institute Hall, Thakurdwar, Dabul, on Saturday, August 23. GRAF is the cultural body of the Konkani-English bi-monthly 'The Goan Review', whose editor is renowned Goan Konkani writer Fausto V D'Costa.
These celebrations commemorated the inclusion of Konkani in the eighth schedule of the Indian Constitution on 20th August, 1992. This day is popularly known as 'Konkani Manyata Divas,' along the Konkan belt.
The programme started with 'Sobit Amchem Goem', a dance directed by Agnes Fernandes. Renowned Goan musician Milind Raikar was the chief guest while Konkani poet J B Moraes was the guest of honour. Navin Kulshekar and Navis Olivera, were honoured on the occasion for their contribution to Konkani literature and music.
Renito Pereira, president, GRAF, was also present on the dais. Fr Bernard D'Souza, Adv Francis Mascarenhas, Philomena San Fancisco, Fr Julian D'Souza, Ancy Paladka of Konkani Bhasha Mandal, Maharashtra, Lawrence Coelho of 'Divvo' weekly, Lawrence D'Souza of Konkani Sabha, Lawrence D'Souza of Mangalorean welfare association, Beni Alwy D'Souza, Philip Lobo, Irence Sequiera, Agnello Alwaris, and Flora Joy, were the special invitees to the programme.
Faosto V D'Costa gave an emotional call to all Konkani people to respect their mother tongue and to use it when talking, reading, and writing. 'Konkani has achieved great heights these days and it has brought in top honours; but it simply doesn't matter to Konkani people who are not proud of their language. They query about the benefit they stand to get from Konkani. Only people who benefit financially from Konkani and people who can make an issue out of it to further their political career use Konkani.' said Faosto.
Referring to Goan theatre artists or 'tiatrists' he said that they use Konkani only for their 'tiatrs'. Once they come offstage, they revert to English and never speak Konkani. 'How will we retain our identity if this situation continues?', Faosto questioned.
He further added that the Konkani people in Mumbai, decades ago, were responsible for promoting Konkani movements, theater, and periodicals. He credited these Mumbaikars for Goa becoming a Konkani state as they contributed abundantly to the Goan opinion poll. Faosto lamented the fact that today it was impossible to find a pure Goan in Goa or any part of India. He cautioned that forgetting one's language was equal to losing one's identity.
J B Moraes beautifully explained 15 milestones of Konkani as follows:
1. 'Jagor' and 'thiatr'
2. 'Kudam' of Mumbai
3. Konkani periodicals
4. Work of Shenoy Goem Bab
5. Konkani Parishad
6. Konkani Bhasha Mandal of Mumbai established in 1942
7. Konkani radio progarmmes
8. First Konkani novel 'Anjel'
9. Opinion poll in Goa
10. Sahitya Akademi recognition for Konkani as an independent language
11. Konkani becoming the state language of Goa
12. Konkani entering the eigth schedule of our constitution
13. First Vishwa Konkani Sammelan
14. Kalangan of 'Mandd Sobhan', and Vishwa Konkani Bhavan
15. Konkani singing entering the book of Guinness records.
Between these milestones there are thousands of furlongs which are not listed here, he said.
Reneto Pereira welcomed the gathering and proposed the vote of thanks. Octivano Fernandes introduced the chief guest while Gabel D'Souza compered the programme. Milind Raiker, Yadnis Raikar, Beni Alvy D'Souza, and John Cardoza, gave violin and guitar presentations. Navis Olivera presented melodious songs while 'mando-dulpods' highlighting the rich Goan traditional culture, directed by Reneto Pereira was one of the highlights of the evening.