By Wilfred Dísouza
Public Relations officer
New Delhi: On the 12 August KCA organized Konkani Utastav in association with the Gurkar of Mandd Sobhann, Viswa Konkani Kala Rattan and Konkani Kala Samrat fame Shri Eric Ozzario. The occasion was the celebration of Konkani Ustav at Delhi and the venue was the Community Centre at the Cathedral Church compound.
As usual the Konkani Usatav celebration started with the community celebration of the Holy Eucharist in Konkani at 5.15 pm. Fr Franklin Dsouza, the CBCI, and National Executive Secretary, for Youth Affairs was the main celebrant. Fr Victor Dísouza, the Vicar General of the Archdiocese Fr Anil Walder and Fr Norbert Louis joined him to concelebrate the Holy Mass.
In his introductory welcome note and as well in his homily Fr Franklin DĎsouza with his selective and chaste Konkani deliverance touched every heart of all present in the hall where he went on to stress upon the effort that needed to be put together for the preservation of our culture and language which can enrich our life and also guided all to better understand the work of God in a most befitting manner. It is worth recalling here the kind contribution of Fr Franklin in the past month wherein he preached a one day and later a three day charismatic retreat in Konkani which was greatly appreciated by all the KCA members. Wilfred Dísouza, thanked all the priests for praying for us and for giving the much needed support in the growth of KCA in New Delhi and NCR area. Babita led the Konkani Choir which added to the spiritual mood in celebrating dayís liturgy.
Our own Mangalore brethren and patron of KCA Dr Vincent Conssesao, the Archbishop of Delhi, was the Chief Guest, he was extended a floral welcome to the function by the KCA President Vincent Menezes. Respectively the other Guest of Honour were Fr Victor Dísouza the Vicar General of the Archdiocese, Sr Jyothi, BS, the former two time Superior General of the Bethany Congregation, Oscar Fernandes, Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha), Congress Working Committee Member and General Secretary of the Congress Party who is also our best known Mangalorean face in the National Politics. (He was also joined by his wife, son and daughter). Maxwell Pereira IPS (Retd) Ex-Joint Commissioner of Delhi Police. All the Guests of Honour were greeted to a stimulating welcome with flower by Millgred Pinto, Helen Lobo, Elias Pinto and Jean Menezes respectively.
Eric Ozzario, Gurkar of Mandd Sobhann, speaking on the occasion expressed his dissatisfaction over the forgetful and lethargic attitude that is being developed by Konkani speaking people world over towards Konkani language and its rich cultural heritage. He said that our language is one of the oldest languages that is recognized by the Indian Govt. but to popularize the same among us, in our family, in our society and in larger areas of the state and country, what we are doing is really not good enough. Hence he said that we need something that would reenergize our love for our mother tongue.
He stressed that the Constitution of a country makes all the citizens law abiding and if any one breaks the law of the land, he gets punished, even the Catholic Church has Ten Commandments and 5 Church Commandments which ensures faithful following them for a better living as well as any violation of the commandments and Church laws will leave one away from the Love of God as well as from the association of the Church. Then he compared the same to our mother tongue and tried to draw some inferences. Therefore he said that 10 commandments for Konkani are relevant and very much needed to see Konkani stays alive among us.
The Ten Commandments for konkani are as follows:
1. Konkani is our mother tongue; love & respect it
2. Speak Konkani and let it bloom
3. Write Konkani and then only it will survive / prosper
4. When you speak to God in prayer , speak to him in Konkani
5. While speaking Konkani make use of pure Konkani vocabulary
6. Make use of the rich konakni culture and heritage in our daily lives
7. Do conserve, encourage and propagate Konkaani Literature and arts
8. Diversities of Konkani be respected and unite for Konkani even in diversities
9. At least one percent of your earnings be dedicated for Konkani & its causes
10. When our language & culture undergoes adversities, take care and protect it.
His heart rendering and concerned appeal for Konkani was so timely and left everyone speechless, as everyone felt that we all have really not done enough for our mother tongue and culture and it was vouched that no effort would be spared for this cause.
Educational Award in the form of certificates and cash award for the year 2011-2012 were handed over to some 50 of our students. Archbishop Vincent Consserao and Oscar Fernandes, M.P. Rajya Sabha along with his Wife Blossom Fernandes did the honours.
The Chief Guest felicitated the singer couple and their group by offering them flowers. Melodious and vibrant voice of Eric Ozzerio and his wife Joyce along with their group sang some of the most nostalgically known Konkani folk songs, which brought the entire audience live and upbeat. Prior to that Babita and the Youth Group, sang memorable konakni & English medley, which was greatly appreciated, especially by Eric Ozzerio, who spoke words of encouragement and appreciated their effort.
In his speech the Chief Guest profoundly Thanked Eric Ozzerio for the remarkable and tireless work he has done over the years for the cause of Konkani and wished him all success in his future endeavors. While he congratulated all the recipients of education awards, he also urged them to study hard as the time meant for studies should be utilized fruitfully for a better future. He also had a word of advice and caution to all the parents to speak Konkani at home and initiate our children to this divine language, otherwise he said, it will be forgotten soon, as we live away from our mother land this is the link and uniting force which needed to be nurtured and encouraged.
KCA also assured the Gurkar of Mandd Sobhann, that it would make all out efforts to organize a three day workshop for restoration of Konkani language, culture and literature during this October holidays for children and elders. The only lucky gift hamper draw went to Oscar Fernandes, Wilfred Dísouza compered the programme. Vincent Menezes, the KCA President, Thanked one and all for coming and making the evening a successful one.