By Violet Pereira, Team Mangalorean
Mangalore: The inauguration of the new office of the Institute of Konkani at the St Aloysius (Autonomous) College, was held on the first floor of the Red Building in the high school premises, here on June 24.
Fr Leo D'Souza former principal of SAC, currently the Director of LAB (Laboratory of Applied Biology), inaugurated the office and blessed the premises. Executive Director, of the Konkani Institution, St Aloysius College Edwin J F welcomed the gathering. St Aloysius College Principal Fr Swebert inaugurated the programme by lighting the traditional lamp along with other dignitaries.
In his welcome speech Edwin J F said, "Almost 9,000 Konkani books are available in our library but a few students come to read the books". He further said, "Konkani library is our treasure but how much do we know about it, how much we make use of Konkani library" ? he questioned. Thirty two years ago, we had started a Konkani library in St Aloysius college and worked hard to retain the same. He urged the Konkani speaking people to come to the library and make use of the available books.
Fr Leo speaking on the occasion said, "Rev Fr A F X Maffei SJ, who came to Mangalore in 1878, and within a short span of time managed to learn and speak Konkani. He started the Konkani Institute in a old building, but the growth of Konkani was not quite satisfactory then. In 1980, a unique gift was given to the Konkani speaking people of Mangalore by giving a new lease of life to Konkani by re- opening the Konkani Institute of St Aloysius College, under the able directorship Fr Herbert Noronha SJ.
Further he said we say "Konkani, Konkani, where is Konkani" ? He questioned. Everyday our local languages are dying and all are giving importance to English thereby forgetting our mother tongue ,and indirectly we all are responsible for making Konkani extinct. There are many dialects in Konkani with different meaning for particular words. We need to understand the meaning of every word in Konkani and its pronunciation. The aim of the Konkani institute is to do more research in Konkani language and to give proper meaning to the same.
Fr Swebert addressing the gathering said that, we are speaking in Konkani but we are lacking in research. We need more and more research work in Konkani . Thirty two years ago the Konkani institute re- started in this campus and in the beginning it was running well. Now again with the enthusiastic leadership of Edwin J F the Institute of Konkani has taken a new turn and this is the first college in Karnataka to have Konkani as second language. He said that we need more and more research in Konkani and urged the Konkani writers to give some feed back as well as advice towards the development of the institute. He also advised to those interested to apply for grants from National Konkani Institute of Mysore, to carry out more research work.
Fr Walter Andrade released a bi-annual Konkani research journal, 'Amar Konkani' during the occasion. H M Pernal delivered the vote of thanks. Symposium on "Inter script transliteration plug-ins, challenges in implementation and usage", was held in the A V Room. Assistant Director of World Institute of Konkani Language, & World Konkani centre Mangalore, Guru Baliga spoke on the topic pertaining to Interscript, translation, utility for Konkani Language, Challenges to implement and usage.