|           3rd Annual Konkan Fruit Fest, Goa - May 6-8, 2005            |
|                                                                        |
|      Today's Events include Fruit Quiz - Papaya / Banana eating        |
|        Competition.    Check out http://konkanfruit.swiki.net          | 

At a function held at the Caritas Conference Hall St
Inez Panaji Goa at sharp 4.30 p.m.attended by over 
238 Konkanii mogis (roman lipi)   organised by the
"Dalgado Konknni Akademi"(established in 1989)now
lately  registered under the Societies Registration
Act 1860 Regn No: 57/Goa/2005 with office at Institute
Nossa Senhora de Piedade Near State Bank of India HO
Branch office Panaji Goa 403 001, on the ocassion of
the 150th Birth anniversary of a dicoesan priest 
Monsignor Sebastiao Rudolfo Dalgado a great linguist
(over 15 languages)a scholar of international repute
and first  patron saint of "amchem maim bhas "   a
language considered otherwise by the upper castes
among the Roman Catholics as the language of servants
--Konkani --a son of Assagao in Bardez Velhas
Conquistas Goa (born on 8/5/1855 Monday died 4/4/1922
Monday) the first award a citation and amount of Rs
50,000 was presented to Fr Vasco de Rego Society of
Jesus at the hands of His Grace Archbishop of Goa &
Daman Filipe Neri Ferrao 

late Msgr Dalgado much of whom has not been heard of
by the people of Goa as most of his works are in
Portuguese and probably confined to the archives in
Goa and Lisboa was a linguist par excellence. He had a
penchant for learning every language of the soil where
he set foot on and his obsession with languages was
with a mission to reach out to those he preached
interacted it - thus when  in Bengal he learnt Bengali
Hindi, in Honnavar Karnataka he learnt Kannada, in Sri
Lanka (then Ceylon) he learnt Sinhale and Tamil, in
Portugal he studied Arabic Persian German in Rome he
learnt Hebrew Latin French Italian .. This earned him
international laurels.  One aspect which is not widely
known is that he learnt Sanskrit and gave it
international recognition.  It must be noted that one
who is conversant with dificult languages like Latin
and Sanskrit understands the roots of any language. 
With this medium of communication several of his
literary works earned him the nomination as Professor
of Curso Superior de Letras in Portugal.

It is he who gave Konkani language a direction to make
it a standard language and created the first Konkani
Portuguese dictionary.

Today there is none to match this great linguist whose
efforts earned a chair for Konkani in Lisbon and gave
Konkani the pride and prestige of an international

No doubt there are NAGRI script Konkani linguists who
credit Konkani and Goan culture  with Shenoi Goembab
This is only a myth . Konkani can be written in any
script be it Romi Tulu Malayalam Kannada Urdu and
Nagri. As a matter of fact the contributions of Msgr
Sebastiao Rudolf Dalgado pales the works of Shenoi
Goembab on Konkani to insignificance though the Hindu
Saraswats would disagree on this.

Even the learned scholar and Goa University faculty
member Dr Nandakumar Kamat eulogised the works of Msgr
Dalgado though he mentioned that there were several
others like Francisco Luis Gomes, Cunha de Riveira who
did earn international fame as emminent Goans in their
respective fields. Then there is Fr Antonio Pereira
who in a preface to a book mentions that Msgr Dalgado
is credited  with 2000 konkani proverbs. He said it
was easy to propagate the Roman lipi in Goas 380
villages, and the year long celebrations "konkni uloi
konkni boroi" could set the right direction to involve
every Goan.

The award was rightly given to Fr Vasco Rego sj Born
on 8.1.1925 ironically nearly three years after demise
of Msgr Dalgado, for his unrivalled contribution to
Romi lipi Konkani some of his notable books are "Romi
Misa Gronth" "Vachpam Gronth" "Stotram" "Sonvsarak
Jezu Diat"  "Nazaretcho Jezu" and "Nazaretkar Jezu"
(nagri lipi) Some  328 of his songs are illustrated in
"Gaianancho Jelo" and the music for another 46 of the
songs in the book besides 10 devoutional hymns.  There
are other writings  to his credit are featured in "dor
Mhoineachi Rotti" "Amcho Sevadhorm" Gulab,  Renovacao
etc etc  He is closely associated with Thomas Stephen
Kendr and in several churches and chapels. He is
wRector of Bom Jesus Basilica and was also associated
with the Jesuit Schools Loyola High School Margao
(1968 - 1973) where he introduced Konkani language in
Romi lipi.

Reciprocating the honour conferred on him Fr Rego
praised the Almighty for the reward.  " It was never
my dream to earn laurels but just a service to the one
above" he said.  Explaining in detail what led him to
be  a staunch advocate of Konkani he cited   an
incident while he was in Europe.  On a Christmas Day
in 1952 he along with 120 youth of 16 to 18 countries
were required to sing Christmas carols in their
respective native languages. There were two Goans one
was Fr Rego the natives of Congo who had just been
converted to Christianity did well only the two Goans
with a history of 400 years one of whom was Fr Vasco
Rego could not sing any Christmas carol in Konkani.
This put them to shame and he vowed from that day to
do anything and everything for Konkani.  

Narrating another incident he mentioned that late
Maestro Fr Camilo Xavier had requested him to prepare
the lyrics for an Italian song to be sung on all India
Radio on Christmas Day Fr Rego gave a blunt no.
Instead he prepared some 6 pages of Christmas carols
in Konkani got them cyclostyled for Rs 2.50 a copy and
with the help of seminarians distributed at Rs 3/- per
copy them in all villages of Velhas Conquestas while
serenading on Christmas night.

He was also guided by his superior in Europe to instil
in the mind set of Goans the need == never ever to
alienate from ones mother tongue and this he vowed to
follow till his end.

Another witty incident was when he met one of his
fellow men who sought his congratulations for a newly
born child whom he named after a day Quin de jesemal
which is synonymous with a day of Carnaval as per the
Almanac de Parade-- what Fr Rego wished to tell that
we should be proud to use Indian names and Goan names.

It is useful to chose the best of the west and also
the east not discard the east for the west.

Another snide remark was about calling Palm Sunday as
"Rama cho aitar" this led to confusion; he recollected
an instance where some Hindu bretheren spoke of their
Ram and our Rama and how because of the two Rams he
too participated in Palm Sunday festivities.  And in a
concluding note he said why not give "Ash Wednesday"
its literal transaltion in Konkani.

He agreed that the year long 150 anniversary
celebrations from today to 8/5/2006 should be carried
with a mission the harder you kick the higher one goes
he said.

Archbishop Patriach Filipe Neri Ferrao also spoke on
the ocassion and expressed confidence that the Church
would collaborate with the Akademi to make the year
long celebrations a success. He  cited an instance of
the missionary zeal of late Mother Theresa who in her
singular effort left an indelible mark among those
suffering.  A small story of two frogs who on a walk
fell into a pond while the others frogs bemoaned their
fate the two in the well kept attempted to climb out
-- one felt frustrated and died while the other
succeeded in coming up. The others on top who had
presumed that illfate would befall the two asked him
what inspired him   to come up ---the frog replied
that since he was deaf he felt that the cries from top
were one encouraging him to come up and therefore he
tried and tried and suceeded In reality being deaf he 
could not understand their negative cries.  

In short it was a message to the members of the
Akademi to pursue their mission with the right zeal
oblivious of bouquets or brick bats.

The President (Prof Tomazinho Cardozo and eminent
votary of Konkani in Roman lipi hailing from Candolim
) of the Akademi demanded of every Goan to ensure that
during the year long celebrations we ahve a function
to celebrate the cause of Roamn lipi writers to give
recognition to their works -- a website will be open
shortly.  Infact early this morning in amidst of 65 to
70 villagers a  road in village Assagao Bardez was
named after Msgr Dalgado.

Some of the sidelights
a) the function started on the dot and many late
comers were taken by surprise
b) the two hour long function had interesting moments
with press and TV crew covering the ocassion
c) a beautiful incident narrated by the Master of
Ceremonies about a Goan lady seeking admission for her
child in a school claiming that the child spoke well
in English won guffaws of laughter when the Principal
asked the child to open his mouth thrice but the child
did not -- only when the mother said "baba say "aaah"
the child opened his mouth -- the message was that
even the english spoke by todays mothers is broken and
hence it is better to teach them konkani
d) this writer had the privilege of meeting the award
winner Fr Rego after over thirty years as a student of

Loyola -- it was this Fr Rego who asked this writer
whether he could recite "Amchem Bapa" in Konkani as a
criteria for admissions having come from Bombay with a
no --this writer was deprived of admissions but given
it only when he parrotised the Amchem Bapa in Konkani'
e) Fr Vasco Rego obliged all and sundry posing for
photographs with his award in tow.
f) there was an invocation song and the national
anthem sung at the beginning and end of the well
organised function.
g) with the temperatures at 34 to 35 C the audience
did turn up in large numbers which won the
appreciation of the organisors.
f)Fr Pratap Naik recollected how Msgr Dalgado was born
and died on a Monday which is significant.
g)there is a plaque lying near the Church at Assagao
in Roman lipi crediting the works of Msgr Dalgado
according to Patriach Archbishop Ferrao
h) one of those present remarked to this writer that
the Catholic Church in Goa is responsible for the
demise of Konkani in Roman lipi by giving wholesale
support to nagri script and encouraging English masses
for nuptials.
i) the Patriach and the editor of Goan Observor Rajan
Narayan (ex editor Heraldo) were seen in animated
discussions over a chapel in South Goa for a long time

j) meanwhile the Patriach assured this writer that the
Church was considering the developments in Anjediva in
June by constituting a specially empowered committee
-though this writer brought to his notice that the
inuaguration would be underway tommorrow at Sea Bird

from the Caritas Conference Hall

Borda Margao Goa 

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