Kuwait: St Daniel Comboni Parish- Abbassiya Families- Konkani Community, celebrated the feast of nativity (Monti Fest) on Friday September 11 at the Integrated Indian School premises. The whole celebration which started at 4pm and ended by 10pm was divided into three parts and was solemnly conducted, participated and enjoyed by one and all.
At the outset we had the introductory session to welcome the people with the band playing as the guests and the faithful arrived for the grand celebration. As the premises began to fill up with more than a thousand people and excited children holding flowers to honour Mother Mary the whole venue was electrified with an atmosphere of devotion, joy and oneness – A FAMILY UNION which is the very essence of this feast – THE MONTI FEST.
The FIRST PART comprised of the Grand Procession from the entrance to the altar. The children with flowers in their hands followed by the Committee members along with Blessed candles (Manachi Vaath) paddy grains and dates, and the enthusiastic young men carrying the beautifully decorated INFANT MARY followed by the priests Fr Noel D’Almeida (Spiritual Director), Fr Antony Lopez, visiting priest Fr Claud Mascarenhas, Fr Franklin D’Souza and Deacon Sylvester D’Souza proceeding to the altar with the Abbasiya Konkani choir singing hymns in honour of Mother Mary to the beat of the band accompaniment indeed gave a solemn start for the celebration. Fr. Xavier joined in later.
With the blessing of the new grain and the people singing ‘MORIYEK HOGOLLSIYAN’ the children showered the flowers on Mother Mary with great enthusiasm and devotion which brought back to mind the childhood memories of the monti fest celebrated in our hometown, Mangalore.
The SOLEMN EUCHARISTIC CELEBRATION being the SECOND PART of the evening’s programme followed immediately with the choir singing the entrance hymn. With four priests and a deacon concelebrating the Eucharist, the Eucharistic ministers, the altar boys and the lectors for the evening, the altar with the beautifully decorated statue of Mother Mary on one side, indeed added to the solemnity and the festivity of the evening.
Fr John Padipurackal, the parish priest was invited to give a short message to the people gathered.
Fr Claud Mascarenhas in his homily explained the significance of the feast of Nativity of Mary and the purpose of the festal celebrations to the Mangalorean catholic community as a harvest festival.
After the mass, there was the ceremony of honouring the main sponsors of the programme with the blessed candle (MANACHI VAATH). Then, sugarcane (Kobu) was distributed to the delighted children, the present generation who are rarely aware of the actual monti fest celebration.
Fr Noel D’Almeida with his welcome speech commenced the THIRD PART of the evening which was the cultural programme & noven jevann. He welcomed the priests, the deacon, the nuns, the guests of the evening and the faithful of the Abbasiya parish and also the faithful from the other parishes of Kuwait.
Fr Franklin D’Souza blessed the food that was prepared for the evening followed by a short yet powerful spirit filled prayer.
Rony Fernandes invited the people to the NOVEN JEVANN in the traditional style of offering ‘Jevnnak Udak’ (water) in a ‘Chembu’ (small pot).
As the dignitaries and the people savored the delicious traditional vegetarian Manglorean food prepared by M & M caterers served on a banana leaf and licked off their fingers with the mouth-watering ‘Vorn’, the people of the Abbasiya parish entertained the audience with their cultural programme which consisted of dances, a skit, songs, instrumental orchestra along with vocals, the Goan manndo etc while there were exciting games for everyone. A skit on “MOTHER” highlighted the message for the day – to be like MOTHER MARY and to enhance family ties.
The programme was well compered by Deepak Andrade and Ines Martis. The vote of thanks was proposed by Lavina Furtado.
Over 1,000 people partook in the celebration and enjoyed this Unique Abbasiya Konkani Community traditional Monti Fest.
‘It was indeed a memorable day for all those gathered at the occasion’, according to Karavali News channel..