Amchi Baas Konkani! Seminar on Konkani Speaking People of CK

Amchi Baas Konkani! Seminar on Konkani Speaking People of CK

A Two-Day (23 and 24 August 2016) UGC sponsored National Level Seminar on “Konkani Speaking People of Coastal Karnataka and their Anglo-Portuguese Connection” is organized by Besant Evening College in Association with Besant Women’s College, Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy, and Konkani Adhyayana Peeta, Mangaluru.

Mangaluru: An UGC sponsored Two-day National Level Seminar on “Konkani Speaking People of Coastal Karnataka and their Anglo-Portuguese Connection” organized by Besant Evening College in Association with Besant Women’s College, Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy, and Konkani Adhyayana Peeta, Mangalore, was inaugurated on 23rd August, 2016 at Besant Evening college auditorium by Chief Guest JR Lobo- MLA Mangaluru South, along with other dignitaries on the dais namely, Basti Vaman Shenoy-Director, Vishwa Konkani Kendra; Roy Castelino- President, Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy; Dr Jayavant Nayak-Associate professor, University College, Mangaluru; Kudpi Jagadish Shenoy-President, Women’s National Education Society; Devanand Pai- Correspondent, Besant Women’s College; Alan Machado- Author of “Sarasvati’s Children”; Dr Satish Kumar Shetty-Principal, Besant women’s College; Dr Carmelita Goveas- Principal, Besant Evening College, among others.

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The seminar ends on 24 August, with Valedictory function at 5.30 pm. with Prof Valerian Rodrigues-Former Professor, Jawaharlal University, with guest of honor-Pradeep G Pai-Managing Director of Hangyo Ice Cream Pvt Ltd, and presided over by Shyam Sunder Kamath- Secretary, Women’s National Education Society. Dr Carmelita Goveas in her welcome address during the inaugural ceremony briefed about the importance of Konkani language and Konkani speaking community who have brought to the city and country. “While Besant Institution is run by the members of Konkani Community, it was very much needed to have the first National Conference on Konkani speaking People of Coastal Karnataka, and we all should be proud of it. and this seminar is for All Konkani speaking people and Representatives of various sections of Konkanis, and Konkani organizations, the learned professors, researchers and students of Languages, Humanities, Arts, Science and Commerce. The non-Konkani speaking people, NGOs and members of civil society who are interested in the development of Konkani ” she added.

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Dr Satish Kumar Shetty addressing the gathering about the theme of the seminar said, ” The main objectives of the conference are-To create an awareness about the Konkani speaking people and the different sects of people who belong to the Konkani community; To reflect upon the origin, identity and the ethnicity of the Konkanis; To understand the various situations and stages which forced them to migrate and finally settle down in a permanent place; To provide a common platform to the representatives of various sections of Konkanis, the learned professors, researchers and students of Humanities and especially the Konkani youth to discuss and deliberate upon the richness, culture, heritage of the Konkani language; To understand the contribution of Konkanis to Education, Banking, Technology, Industry, Trade, Agriculture, Hospitals, Politics and Culture and thus to the development of the region and the Nation; and To analyze and plan as to how to help Konkani to develop as an Academic Discipline in a major way”.

MLA JR Lobo speaking on the occasion said, ” We need to promote Konkani as much as we can, because recently Konkani has been included as one of the National language, and all Konkani speaking communities start speaking Konkani at home. The real danger for Konkani comes from within our households where Konkani is not spoken. Our elders and parents have a bad habit of conversing in English and they feel that they have achieved something by doing this. I urge everyone to speak in your mother tongue at home and not in English. I am confident that Seminars like these would help create knowledge and awareness of, hitherto little known facts about the Konkani speaking Community, and the various sects of people, who belong to the community. It would help to understand the rich contribution of the community towards society and nation building and what the present generation could do to add to this contribution. It will certainly help to understand the significance of the Konkani language, literature and culture and help the Konkanis to work in unity for the development of Konkani and Konkanis “.

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“Therefore it is particularly a worthy academic exercise to explore and analyze the historical background, social structure, achievements and social contributions, political and developmental role, and cultural interest of this wonderful social entity of Konkanis, which obviously unfolds a multi-disciplinary based discussion. And I think that it is the objective of this seminar, which is particularly focusing the attention on the Konkanis who have settled in Coastal Karnataka and the Anglo-Portuguese influence which forced them to migrate” added JR Lobo.

Addressing the audience Roy Castelino said, ” We should all know that Konkani, is one of the National language now, and a language included in the Eighth Schedule of the Indian constitution, and the official State language of Goa; is the mother tongue of people called Konkanis. A feeble minority, Konkanis, are even less than half-a-percent of the Indian population. But they have been projected as a strong ethnic denomination of India and worldwide, thanks to their uniquely endowed natural qualities and talent with the innate genome and acquired and nurtured characteristics. Konkanis population is formed by people belonging to three major religions: Hindu-Muslim-Christian; and nearly forty-one diverse castes and communities”

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“It is interesting, and is also a point of appreciation, to know that “unity in diversity” is the default structure of the Konkani kingdom. Konkanis made significant strides especially at the end of the British and Portuguese empires. A large section of the community worked in the Banking sector developed several Banks of local origin as giant Public Sector Banks of India today. However they diversified their abilities into every field of professionalism and Entrepreneurship, and made a name for themselves in all the fields like Education, Technology, Engineering, Industry, Trade, Agriculture, Hotels, Hospitals, Politics and very prominently in the Cultural field and performing Arts such as Dance, Music, Theatre, Cinema, Sculpture, Painting etc. They have participated in the Freedom Struggle, National policy making, Constitution Drafting, Cooperative Movements, Charity and Social Service etc. and have also served as Diplomats, and in the Civil Services ” added Castelino.

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Basti Vaman Shenoy and Kudpi Jagadish Shenoy also spoke about the importance of respecting and learning Konkani, which presently has been ignored mostly by the Konkani speaking community. They both urged the participants to make much use of the two-day seminar and gain some knowledge of the Konkani background and its history. The vote of thanks was proposed by Meera Edna Coelho- Seminar Co-Convenor/Associate Prof. of English, Besant women’s College, and the registration of participants was handled by Smitha Shenoy- HOD, Journalism, Besant Women’s College. The programme was compered by Amina, a BWC student.

During the two-day seminar following topics will be covered:

Origin, Ethnic Identity and Migration of the Konkani Speaking People by Alan Machado- Author of “Sarasvatis Children (A history of Mangalorean Catholics)

Famous Konkanis in Music, Art, Theatre and Films by Shakunthala Kini-Senior announcer at AIR Akashavani, Mluru, and Eddie Sequiera -graphicartist and Konkani dramatist

Konkani speaking communities of Coastal Karnataka by Dr Jayavant Nayak-Associate professor, University College, Mluru.

Konkani Language by Fr Dr Pratapananda Naik Sj-Konkani linguist and Researcher

Konkani Literature and Journalism by Stephen Quadros-Associate prof. and HOD of History, Govt First Grade College, Honnavar

Contribution of Konkanis to Banking, Industry, Education and Health care by B R Bhat-Former GM of Corporation Bank

The rich culture and heritage of the Konkanis and the Anglo Portuguese influence on them by EricOzario- Gurkar of Mandd Sobhann

Panel discussion pn ‘Konkani as an Academic Discipline” by Roy Castelino, president, Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy, along with Dr Devdas Pai-Registrar, Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy; Xavier D’souza- Principal, Govt First Grade College for Women, Puttur; Venkatesh Baliga-Editor, Kodial Khaber Konkani Fortnightly; and Fr Alwyn Serrao-Principal, Padua College, Mluru.

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