ABU DHABI: The Konkani community of St. Paul’s Catholic Church Musaffah, Abu Dhabi celebrated 2ndKonkan Day on 20th of April 2018. It was an unique gathering for all Konkani loving people of UAE, representing all the Catholic Churches of UAE, namely Musaffah, Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Dubai, Jebel Ali, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah. The event was held under the spiritual guidance of Rev. Fr. Wilson Rumao, Spiritual Director of Konkani community of Musaffah, Abu Dhabi. The main purpose of this mega event was to bring all Konkani speaking community of UAE under one umbrella and show their unity and oneness among the all section of the people and to show the rich Konkani Culture and heritage to their children and the future generation to continue with the same spirit. Over 700 people gathered to witness the celebration.

The celebration started at 10:30 a.m. with breakfast and a grand welcome to all attenders with paan-pod and goud-udak -a traditional way of welcoming the guest by offering beetle leaves with arrack nut and jagry with water. All people were thrilled and appreciated the traditional way of welcome. 

The Holy Eucharistic celebration began at 11:30 a.m. The Main celebrant of the Mass was Fr. Valerian Fernandes along with Fr. Wilson Rumao, Rev. Fr. Maxim Cardoza, Rev. Fr. Annie Xavier, Rev. Fr. Luca Piantanida. 

Inaugural ceremony started immediately after the Holy Mass. M.C., Donny Correa and Suzan Azaredo welcomed the crowd. After the Flag march from various churches, Prayer Dance performed by St. Paul’s Church kids brought the atmosphere of celebration. John D’Lima, the Coordinator of Konkani Community, welcomed all Priests and Dignitaries on to the dais for the formal inauguration of the function.The guests of Honour who attended the function were M/s. Austin Prabhu, Joel Crasta, Robert D’Souza, Galli Minara Babu and Nazareth Alphonso. Rev. Fr. Wilson Rumao, Spiritual Director, Konkani Community, Musaffah started the opening prayer and wished the function all the best. M.C. announced the lighting of lamps by all Priests and Guests of Honour. A huge cake was cut in commemoration of the event. Rev. Fr. Ani Xavier Parish Priest of St. Paul’s church Musaffah apprised the Konkani community of Musaffah for their contribution not only to the community but also for church and appreciated their active participation in all other church activities. 

There was a special felicitation function to Rev. Fr. Eugene Mattioli, OFM Cap on the occasion of celebrating his 61st Priestly Ordination and to Fr. Valerian Fernandes OFM Cap, on his Silver Sacerdotal Jubilee. They were given a memento with Shawl to appreciate all the good work they do in the Vicariate. 

Austin Prabhu, the editor and publisher of Konkani weekly Veez, published in Chicago, appreciated the efforts of the Konkani community and the unity among the people. He wished such gathering is very important for the unity of the community. After this short program food was blessed by Rev. Fr. Valerian Fernandes and the Main Coordinator John D’Lima led the Priest and distinguished guests for Lunch. 
Cultural program started at 2:15 p.m. with a theme song presented by host team,followed by Gumta performed by Abu Dhabi. In the Gumta, they explained the meaning of our Lord’s prayer as well as Hail Mary. The tiny tots of St. Francis of Assisi, Jebel Ali Parish performed a dance and people were just surprised to see the performance of tiny kids. Group singing of Sharjah enthralled the hearts of the people and as usual they kept the audience on their toes. Group dance performed by Jebel Ali was appreciated by the audience with a rousing ovation. The comedy skit of St. Michael’s church, Sharjah kept the people laughing hysterically and a loud applause given to them. Abu Dhabi, teenagers too were not behind in receiving people’s rousing applause when they presented a beautiful dance. The beautiful Dekni dance performed by St. Francis of Assisi Church Jebel Ali was an eye-catching performance applauded by all. 

The performance of Our Own Cluster (OOC), Abu Dhabi a sentimental performance brought the present fate of the old parents. It won the hearts of the people as many audiences were shedding their tears. Kudos to their performance. 

The next performance was from the host team a wedding scene. They depicted true meaning of how in the olden days relatives and friends used to help the Head of the family by bringingvojenin kind. The vojen was brought in a procession and it was remarkable scene to watch as different kind of vojen like rice mudo, tender coconut, banana leaves, and different kinds of vegetables along with Kelacho godai. It was an eye-catching scene for all people gathered, especially for adults, it was refreshing their memory and for children it was totally a novel thing to witness, remember and to cherish which was enjoyed by all. The Baila Dance was performed by Sharjah Parishioners where the audience started dancing on the floor. 

The vote of thanks was given by Veeda D’Lima, Joint cultural secretary. She thanked God Almighty for such a wonderful day. She also thanked all priests, Donors, participants, Ushers, and all who participated and made this event great success. 

M.C. Donny kept the audience busy with his witty and humorous jokes and distribution of spot prizes. 

The days final performance was Music by Goan troupe of Abu Dhabi to bring all spectators on to floor dance. They have won the accolades of the audience and started chanting once more, once more. 

Prior to closing the function around 5:30 pm, Rev. Fr. Wilson Rumao led the people for final prayer and declared Konkan Day Closed. People recited Laudate Dominum thanking Almighty God for providing us such a wonderful day. At the end as people dispersed, tea/coffee and cake was served. All the people left the place with smiling face and sweet memories to cherish to meet once again for the Next Konkan Day. 

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