Monday 17 December 2018

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R u a Konkani?

 

Few years from now, the new generation of Konkanis across the globe will hardly speak or write Konkani. I wonder if Konkani will still be written or spoken after another twenty years.



Berlin International Film Festival

A lady, in her forties, came to see me after the screening of the film "Paltadacho Munis" at Berlin International film festival. She hesitantly asked me: "Are you a Konkani?

"Of course," I replied.

It was a brief chat. However, she gave me a shock of a lifetime when she said that her mother belongs to Goa and all along her life, she prevented her from understanding Konkani language and culture.

Her mother strongly believed that speaking Konkani is down market and only working class or lower income group communicate in Konkani.  She apparently lived in Germany all her life. She told me how her desire to understand Konkani culture has come to surface after watching this film at Berlin.

She left, leaving a thousand questions in my mind. I have never been able to understand why Konkanis do not consider highly about their language.

Is it because of the atrocities they faced during Portuguese rule? Or is it because of the weakness they felt due to fragmentation of the Konkani society?

During Portuguese rule in Goa, Konkanis fled to Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka and other neighboring states. They all speak Konkani, write Konkani in the script most convenient to them (the issue of script is irrelevant as in the absence of a script, people wrote in the local script).

Why is that Konkani takes a backseat when it comes to schooling of their kids? It's disheartening to see promoters of Konkani as well as our state leaders' children do not take up Konkani as one of the language in schools.

The global influence of Konkani is only limited to our own efforts on preserving the identity of Konkani. Here, I do not mean Konkani as a language, but a culture. A culture that is prevalent on the coastal belt of India. Anybody who lives on the coastal belt right from Malawan (Maharashtra) until Karwar-Mangalore encompassing the entire Goa region is to be called a Konkani.

I am not making a political statement for division of the states. I am trying to give a voice to this slow paced, quiet culture on the coastal belt.   

Few years from now, the new generation of Konkanis across the globe will hardly speak or write Konkani. I wonder if Konkani will still be written or spoken after another twenty years.

I live in Goa. I have observed various influences on Konkani culture in Goa. As world is becoming a small village, global influences are part of the modern society. But then what happens to our xeet-kodi (rice-curry) culture?

What relevance remains of the question "are you a Konkani"?  

I do not have answers to these questions. But I strongly feel that Konkani society, irrespective of religion and the country of residence, will have to urgently look into the development of its culture for an enriched social life.




Dear Rahul, just because Konkani in a Indo-Aryan language does not mean it should be written only in Devnagari. Many Indo-Aryan languages eg. Gujarati, Bengali,Oriya etc are not written in Devnagari. Konkani is spoken from Malvan to North Kerala and is spoken in varied dialects, pray tell us where they should go just because you don't like their accent? Your comment on Catholics is in very bad taste, people like you work as a divisive force and ultimately harm the unity of the Konkani people which is the need of the hour irrespective of religion. Let us work to preserve our 'Mai bhas' and the Konkani culture.

 
Austin Crasta |

Konkani should be spoken and written in Romi script.This is because it is widely accepted and easy to understand and also easy to write.It is high time that school books, newspapers and magazines should be printed in Romi script and Konkani be made the compulsory subject to all in the state of Goa.

Our politicians are not concerned about this and are in the Government only for self greed and self gains.I URGE THE POLITICIANS OF GOA TO UPRADE THE STATUS OF KONKANI LANGUAGE IN THE STATE BEFORE IT IS HIGH TIME THAT ANY OTHER FOREIGN LANGUAGE B GIVEN THE IMPORTANCE IN GOA.

 
sunny dias |

Lets speak in Konkani atleast amoungnst amchigele so write for Konkani encouragement no matter whichever Konkan region(west coast from GJ to KL) language it is written in. Let Konkani get it right place being the oldest language of India and get its right due for being a great friendly community/culture ! Atleast we must be ready to die to keep Goa as Konkani as we are degraded to such a tiny state of India for representation!

 
Yogesh |

konkani bhasherce lok jayte karnak lagun her bhasha uloytat. pun jayte janache kalzank konkani bhashe cho mog asa.

but if we just keep that love in heart then no doubt language konkani may be in her last days ...

DEVNAGRI IS GOOD SCRIPT FOR PROPER PRONUNCIATION OF KONKANI WORDS . PEOPLE ARE FREE TO USE FOREIGN SCRIPTS ,BUT IT WILL ONLY KILL LANGUAGE & MAKE IT IN OTHER SHAPE AS HOW SOME SOCIETY'S OF SAL-SATE TALUKA SPEAK .IN ORDER TO PRESERVE KONKANI LANGUAGE & CULTURE , SYLLABUS OF EDUCATION BOOKS MUST CHANGE & CHILDREN MUST BE EDUCATED ABOUT THERE CULTURE.KONKANI SUBJECT MUST BE MADE COMPULSORY FROM 1 ST TO 15 TH .

 
mayur |

Script is symbolic representation of sound. It can be used by people who are deaf and dumb to communicate. It can be used to preserve thoughts and knowledge across time and space when means of passing it verbally is not feasible.



It may be the case that Devnagri script symbols made the original aplhabet of Konkani language. But that does not mean there cannot be or there should not be alternate alphabe to represent the same sounds. All is in the need of the hour.

I find it easy to write konkani in Romi script using QWERTY keyboard while writing email, while chatting and while on Facebook.

Mojority of people who have migrated in search of greener economic pastures have helped spread the culture and language of Goa. Konkani in Romi script has greater potential to unite Goans who are spread all over the Earth.

 
B. Brother |

Why the hell should konkani be written in roman script. Konkani belongs to indo aryan family of languages and should be compulsarily written in devnagari script.Roman script should be officially banned from use. Catholics should continue learning portuguese as they speak konkani is a quaint accent which seems to be highly influenced by portuguese. Catholics who dont like this are free to migrate to portugal.

 
Rahul |

Konkani will not die until people are proud of the language. just ensure that your son/ daughter learns the mother tongue first. everything else can come in later. as long as the child learns the mother tongue first, he/ she will never forget it. if you teach english to the child first, your mother tongue has already taken a back seat!

 
ashok pai |

Avinash I liked what you have commented below. Do you know these Goans who say that they understand but cannot speak Konkani are not Goans in reality. Such guys should not be allowed to enter Goa. If such Goans who say so have got any property or any assets in Goa, the same should be confiscated because these are not real Goans, They love other languages and our own Mother Tongue Konkani they don’t like. I know a lot of Goans who don’t like Konkani and say so openly. These are 99.9 percent(I mean from the non Konkani speaking ones) the Goan Catholics in Kuwait. This is a sad tragedy! Menino (Valpoi)

 
Menino G. P. T. Fernandes (Valpoi/UK) |

what laxmikant Shetgaonkar has said is indeed a reality but not many will accept it , although they will believe it is happening. we love to be fantasizing about konkani but if we do have a reality check we will realise that in Goa, Hindi is getting more of a communication language than konkani or even marathi. i have no bias over any langauge not even english but unless we get that stigma attached to the feeling of Konkani being a "low" langauge we will not be able to get out of this.

i watch konkani dramas and when i observe the crowd many converse in English and when i questioned my own friend over this his answer was that I feel more comfortable in English. So yes are you a konkani speaking person is a question which might fetch us the answer,"Yes! i can understand it but i cannot speak."

 
Avinash |

konkani will never die never never.......

 
TF |

Dear, Mr. Shetgaonkar , i am confident that konkani will remain as an identity of goan people and even after 20 years goans will speak konkani .

just to give you an example, in most of the colleges in goa 10 years back students used to feel shy to communicate in konkani, because that time influence of ouside teachers, (non konkani speaking) was more.

But today the situation has changed, now most of the students communicate in Konkani and thay feel themselves proud to speak in konkani.

 
sanjay sawant Dessai |

Moze aunde zauk konkani "Language"iskolanim legun ani uronk sodanch zhivi maim bhass Goemkaranchi.Dev borrem korum...!

Domnic Qatar

 
Domnic |

I would like to say to the Film maker of "Paltadcho Munis" Bab Laxmikant Shetgaonkar:

Porbim Tuka Tujea Vavrak anik Anvdetam Tuka Bori Bolaiki anik Mevonk Tuka Devacho Adhar Cholonk Fudem Tujea Vavrant Sodamkal.

"Konkani ulloiat, Konkani boroiat ani Konkani Bhas Sounsarak Porgot Khorat".

Congrats & Cheers to bab L. Shetgaonkar....... VIVA KONKANI..... VIVA GOEMKAR.

 
Joe Ganja |

Niece 1,This blog is an eye opener for Goan people......................time is not gone yet ......

 
Nilesh Shetgaonkar |

There are quite a number of Catholics abroad, specially in Kuwait, who say that talking Konkani is below dignity or their children should not know Konkani as they feel that others will think they do not know English.

I think in Goa the lamp of Konkani was kept burning by the Catholics, who used the Roman script to do so. It is high time that the school books be also printed in Roman Script so that those who opt for Konkani in Roman script can a get opportunity to keep the mother tongue going on and on.

Implement this dual script books system in schools and I am sure that KONKANI will never die. DEV BOREM KORUM - Menino (Valpoi)

 
Menino G. P. T. Fernandes (Valpoi/UK) |

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Laxmikant Shetgaonkar

Laxmikant Shetgaonkar is a Goan filmmaker of international repute, presently shuttles between Goa and Mumbai. He has created history with his first Konkani film “Paltadacho Munis” (A Man Beyond the Bridge) winning the most prestigious FIPRESCI award, also known as Discovery Award of the Critics, at Toronto International film festival in 2009. His first short film “Eka Sagar Kinari” had also bagged a National Award, the first one for Goa once again, in 2005. Laxmikant graduated in Theatre Arts from Kala Academy, Goa. He was an Actor-Teacher at India’s prestigious theater training school, National School of Drama, New Delhi. Overwhelmed with the quality of world cinema, he decided to take up the medium of cinema to express his concerns. He has also started a cinema movement in Goa, by forming Entertainment Network of Goa. He has also directed many more films. He has figured in the Top Ten youngest achievers of India in Sun magazine in 1995. His profile and activities are available on his website http://www.laxmikant.net .

 

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