Mangaluru: Konkani poet and convener, Konkani Advisory Board, Sahitya Akademi, Delhi Melvyn Rodrigues said that Konakni ‘vovios’ or marriage songs are basically a celebration of womanhood. He was speaking after inaugurating the Konkani conference on Konkani marriage literature hosted by the Institute of Konkani, St Aloysius College (Autonomous), Mangalore in association with the UGC-STRIDE scheme here on Thursday, April 20.
“Most vovios have been composed by women and celebrate various facets of womanhood. There is their happiness; their protest; their views on life, among other things,” Rodrigues added. He called upon Konkani enthusiasts to take a keen interest in marriage literature reach. He also said that the vovio form of Konkani marriage literature had over one thousand rare Konkani words which need to be published as a separate Konkani dictionary.
Dr Alwyn D’Sa, the convener of the STRIDE scheme spoke on how the UGC through its STRIDE scheme was keen to encourage the study and preservation of local culture. He mentioned that the College under this scheme had taken up 14 research projects on local languages and culture.
In his presidential address, Principal Dr (Fr) Praveen Martis SJ urged the youngsters to carry forward the rich culture of Konkani with all its richness and legacy. He emphasized that culture should not be derided but must be revived and carried forward for posterity.
During the programme, Melvyn Rodrigues was honoured for being appointed as the convener of the Konkani Advisory Board by Sahitya Akademi, Delhi.
After the inaugural session, resource persons from three communities of Konkani three from Mangalore and one from Goa presented their papers on wedding literature of three Konkani communities i.e. Catholic, GSB and Kudubi.
Fr Roman Rodrigues, assistant professor, Rosary College of Commerce and Arts, Navelim, Goa, presented a paper titled ‘Remnants of marriage folklore in Goa’. Chandrika Mallya, a retired Konkani teacher, at Nalanda School, Mangalore, presented a paper titled ‘Origin and significance of GSB marriage folklore’. Prof. J. B. Sequeira, former HOD, Department of Sociology, St Philomena College, Puttur presented a paper titled ‘Marriage Folklore in the Mangalorean Catholic community: Past and Present’. Prathima S.R., an advocate, presented a paper on the topic ‘Disappearing marriage songs of Kudumi community’.
In the afternoon, Philomena D’Souza and the group from Kumta rendered north Canara Catholic marriage folklore; Kalyani and a group from Kuttar, Krishnakodi presented Kudumi marriage folklore singing, and Hilda Moras and the group from Bondel presented Mangalorean Catholic marriage folklore songs. In the last session, Chandrika Mallya and the group from Mangalore rendered GSB marriage folklore.
Over 130 students from various colleges and some prominent writers and Konkani enthusiasts of Konkani language and culture were present at the conference. The programme coordinator of the Institute of Konkani, Joachim Pinto presented the valedictory note and Diya Mascarenhas compared the entire day programme. Flora Castelinho, HOD, Konkani department, St Aloysius College (Autonomous), rendered a vote of thanks.