Mangaluru: The Konkani Sahitya Academy held Christmas celebrations as part of the ongoing Pilikula Habba at the Pilikula Nisargadhama here, on December 25.
Speaking to Mangalorean.com, president of Konkani Sahitya Academy Roy Castelino said, “This is the first time, Pilikula is celebrating festivals of different religions. On December 24, we had celebrated Eid-Milad and today, we are celebrating Christmas. On 26th, the Beary and Kodava Sahitya Academy will jointly organize Pilikula Habba. On 27th, all the five academies will come together for the valedictory ceremony.”
He further said that being December 25, Konkani Sahitya Academy has taken the leadership to celebrate the Christmas day. “Konkani is a language of the people of all the three major religions – Hindus, Christians and Muslims – but today being Christmas day, we thought to celebrate it in a befitting manner. We have arranged traditional Carols in Hindi, Konkani and other local languages and Christmas Khel.” Santa Claus along with his entourage went on a door-to-door meeting, wishing everyone a very happy Christmas. A volleyball match was also conducted on the occasion. “We have received an opportunity to celebrate Christmas and spread communal harmony in the coastal region,” Roy added.
Speaking to Mangalorean.com, DC A B Ibrahim said, “We are conducting programmes in Pilikula every month. This is the grand finale of the entire year and so, we thought of celebrating it for four days to reflect on the coastal societies, the culture of Tulu, Beary and Konkani speaking people together coupled with Christmas. Even though the response now is not so good, in the coming years we will get a good response. These kind of programmes are being conducted to bring the people together as one. We had a Christmas procession, so that people get to know what is Christmas and understand the meaning of festivals. I hope that the Pilikula Habba will serve its purpose and bring communal harmony, which has been continually strained, back in the coastal region.”
The Executive Director of Dr Shivarama Karantha Pilikula Nisargadhama, SA Prabhakar Sharma speaking on the occasion said that every month, various programmes are organised in Pilikula. “This is a festive season and we thought of holding a unique programme. Due to the holidays, we thought of holding a four-day programme. On December 24, the Tulu Academy organized cultural programmes. On December 25, Konkani Academy has organized Christmas celebrations. We have also organized Men’s Volleyball and the winners will get cash prizes of Rs 6000, Rs 5000 and Rs 4000 along with the Trophies. The men’s volleyball has attracted more youth to take part in the tournament. On 26th, we will have cultural programmes organised by the Beary and the Arebhasha Samskrithi academies. There are a plethora of cultural programmes so that people can come and enjoy.”
There were spot games, Carol singing, selfie with Santa, Exhibition-cum-sale of Kuswar and Cakes. People from all walks of life enjoyed the Christmas celebrations at Pilikula.