Canada: Historical Curtain-raiser for the First World Konkani Cultural Convention

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Media Release

Mississauga, 17 September 2010:  It was an awesome experience for the Konkani Diaspora residing in Canada when Eric Ozario, the Gurkaar and Louis Pinto, the incumbent president of World’s renowned Konkani organization Mandd Sobhann extended "Vovllik" (invitation) for the First World Konkani Cultural Convention in a traditional style by offering `paan-pod udaak’ (betel leaves, areca-nuts and water).  This historical curtain raiser event "Vovllik", first of its kind in North America was held during the grand Monti Fest celebration organized by the Mangalorean Association of Canada (MAC) in association with Canara World Foundation (CWF) at Pope John Paul II hall in Mississauga, Canada on Sunday, Sept 12.



The First World-level Konkani Cultural Convention will be organized in Mangalore as a 25-day extravaganza from November 25 to December 19 to mark the Silver Jubilee of Konkani’s premier cultural organization Mandd Sobhann, that has made all Konkani speaking people proud by placing the language on the world map by their remarkable and record-breaking feat of organising the Konkani Nirantari program to enter the Guinness Book of World Records with its 40-hour-long non-stop multi-singer music program.


The "Vovllig" program was a part of the Monthi Fest Cultural program that started with a traditional welcome by MAC President Maxim D’Mello and CWF president Max Mendes.  The special guests Baab Eric and Baab Louis who flew to Canada from Mangalore, India were welcomed to the dais and were greeted with flower bouquets amidst the rolling applause of the audience. On behalf of the Konkani Community in Canada they were honoured with the traditional shawl.  Fr Edwin D’Souza, the spiritual director of Konkani community in Canada and an ardent supporter of Konkani language, was the chief guest.


Mandd Sobhann gurkar Eric Ozario, the former president of Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy, highlighted the importance of the convention in his key address and said that Konkani is a rich language and its preservation should be of top priority.  He narrated the greatness of Konkani, spoken by people cutting across barriers of state, region, religion, caste and creed in India and even abroad.  He gave a bird’s eye-view of Mandd Sobhann and its contribution for the development, promotion and protection of Konkani culture, language, music and theatre for the last quarter century.  He said that the first-ever World-level Konkani Cultural Convention being held at Kalaangann from November 25 to December 19 will comprise of programs from over 60 groups/troupes from all over the world involving over 1,000 artistes with music, folk, theatre and dance.


In addition, a Konkani film festival, food festival, youth festival, art festival, kavita fest, games, competitions and bazaar will be organized along with the second global Konkani music award presentation. The sixth Carvalho Gharaanne-Thomas Stephen’s Konkani Kendr Kalakaar Puraskaar will also be presented. Seminars on various aspects of Konkani culture and felicitation/honouring of 25 institutions/individuals from all around the world for their contribution to enriching the Konkani culture is a part of the 25-day celebration, Ozario said.



There was a thunderous applause from the audience when Eric announced that one day will be dedicated to Canada where Konkani people from Canada have a unique opportunity to exhibit their Konkani talents on the soil of their birth.  He urged all the Konkani people of North America to show utmost generosity and support morally and financially to this unique high-budgeted historical Konkani event.


The hall packed audience were enthralled when Eric presented his own foot-tapping compositions together with talented local artistes like Merlyn Rodrigues, Anita Prabhu, Sonia Monteiro and Manohar Pais. Leo Rego, Ronald Monteiro and Gerry D’Mello were the comperes for the program.



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