|By Tanya Pinto, Canada [ Published Date: May 9, 2005 ]|
“Sounds like a lot of work,” I said to Roshan on the phone as he finished explaining to me the time consuming details of setting up a web portal for Mangaloreans worldwide. “Why would you want to do something like this?” I asked him and like any true product of today’s culture, I also added, “What do you get out of doing something like this?”
His answer was simple. “Nothing.”
“I just want to build a Mangalorean community on the web, for Mangaloreans worldwide where we can speak our minds, exchange ideas and share our news.”
“But aren’t there other websites that do the same thing?” I asked, playing the devil’s advocate.
“Yes,” he said. “But mine will be different,” he exclaimed proudly. “How?” I challenged him. “I don’t know,” he replied. “But mine will be different!” he said sounding emphatic about this.
That was a year ago and since the time of its conception online, I have seen the website grow in leaps and bounds. There have been many changes and additions that make it unique and appealing. For my part, I have been frequently chided for not writing and not getting involved more and I always give the same old and apparently “lame” excuse of not having enough time in the day to sneeze let alone write. But every so often when I am at work or late at night when I have a moment to spare, I go online and read the news that affects Mangaloreans around the world, or read Mangalorean Voices. Sometimes I chuckle, sometimes I am in disbelief, and sometimes I am saddened. What I read makes me think about my heritage and what I read makes me realize that I am part of a community that is rich in history, rich in colour and rich in talent. A community that I need to learn more about, and a community whose roots are as deep as its people diverse.
Living the kind of lives most of us do, fractured and distanced from our homeland, from our traditions and language, visiting a website like this reminds us that while we might be dispersed around the globe, the community is still pulsating in the various different nook and crannies of the world and that we only have to press “send” on express your thoughts to start a lively debate or read articles on Mangalorean Voices to connect with our culture. It is a new type of world that we are living in, a world of blackberries and SMS and Bluetooths. Words that twelve years ago would have meant nothing to me but today become important in the exchange of data. And somewhere in this new world, I am thankful that there are websites like this, using technology to build and maintain connections among a people and a culture that continues to be vibrant and alive, with stories that need to be told and bringing together people who are interested in hearing them.
Congratulations to Mangalorean.com and its team for successfully completing two years!