26th May 2009: Timing was perfect; weather was beautiful with clear skies and plenty of sunshine. This is not about IPL match but about “Konkan Day”, one of the largest events of the year in UK Konkans’ calendar. Mangaloreans living in London and faraway places witnessed this spectacular spiritual and social event by actively participating in it.
The day started with a solemn Eucharist presided by Rev. Fr Olvin Veigas SJ in Konkani, who also thanked the Almighty God for the many blessings the UK Konkans received in the last five years. The Alter was beautifully decorated by Gratian D’Silva and Eric D’ Souza led the melodious choir, supported by the young Konkan teenager Melosa D’Souza on the piano. In his Homily, Fr. Veigas explained that in-order to believe the truth of the resurrection of Jesus, we need not only faith but also imagination. And the imagination of Risen Jesus caught the attention of Apostles to preach the Good News and build the church to which we belong today. So too, to run an association, we need an imagination which can draw people from every side. And for that, UK Konkans is a platform for Konkani speakers to come together and make a difference in society. Being away from the homeland should not fail us in taking the opportunities of the place to bring a change in the Diaspora community but also for our people back home. He gave the examples of Konkani Diaspora websites www.mangalorean.com and www.daijiworld.com which have made a difference and contributed immensely to society. Recalling the significant role played by the Catholic Konkani associations in the US, especially influencing the government in protecting the minorities back home, Fr.Olvin asked all Konkans to join hands together at this time of history.
In his welcome speech the president of UK Konkans, Raphael D’Souza highlighted that in an increasingly English, Kannada dominant culture, the place of Konkani is slowly taking a backstage in the undivided South Canara. He praised the excellent work done by various Konkani associations in UK like, Mangalorean United Konkani Association, Nottingham (MUKA), Konkani Catholic Association, Manchester (KCA), and UK Konkans, to preserve Konkani language and culture.
As part of the program various icebreaking games were conducted for the children and then for adults by Gretta D’souza and Margaret D’Souza. Anitha Sequiera and John Fernandes both of MUKA, showed their natural talent while dancing to the tune of ‘Hallon Dollon’. Vice President of UK Konkans, Gratian D’Silva and Sunil D'Cunha, President of MUKA gave the taste of their singing talent with songs. The highlight of the event was popular dance ‘Adanv Bapa’ by MUKA team, comprising Vincent D'souza, John Fernandes, Stany Sequiera, Deepak Alvares, Harold D'souza and Pius Rasquinha, which won hearts of the audience.
The multi-talented Melosa D’Souza gave a brilliant performance by her dance. The young and adult alike had a great laugh at a skit played by MUKA group lead by Stany Sequiera, John Fernandes, Flossy Fernandes, Vincent D'souza, Deepak Alvares and Joshua Pinto. Dorothy Prakash won applauds for her direction and choreography of group dance with Bollywood Remix. Shalini Pinto, Dorothy Prakash and Sunitha Rodrigues of MUKA group gave a stupendous performance while the crowd whistled and clapped all through the dance.
Ashuntha Periera, the London based Konkani writer and actress performed a comedy skit-Modern Bikari with Tom D’souza, Roshani D’silva and Raphael D’Souza. The delicious Mangalorean meal was prepared by Beena D’Souza, Seena Poojari and Ramesh Achari. Zenita Gonsalves compeered the whole program for the joy of one and all. Another highlight of the programs was that the active participation by the members of the MUKA, Nottingham who showed being far away from London programs can be organized together successfully.
A modest sum of offering which was collected at the Mass will be sent to MANASA Rehabilitation and Training Centre, Pamboor, Udupi District, as a way to support the lay initiatives of Catholic Sabha in Mangalore Diocese. This event was co-sponsored by Nancy Pinto, manager of a well known Nursing home in Basingstoke.
Edited and Published By Konkanifriends Team