The complex and wonderful world of Konkani

The complex and wonderful world of Konkani

Submitted by alvin on Fri, 2017-02-03 18:09 Konkani is the predominant language of the west coast of India, known as Dakshina Kannada or the Canara coast, which stretches from Ratnagiri hills in Maharastra to Cochin in Kerala, enroute Goa and Karnataka coast, also known as the Konkan land. Konkanis are also dominant in certain areas of Gujarat. Konkani or Konkanas is the synonym used to describe the Konkani speaking people.August 20, 1992, was a red-letter day for Konkani culture. It was the day when Konkani was recognised as one of the official languages of India, the day when it was included in the 8th schedule of the Indian Constitution to take its honourable place among the other great languages of India. Konkani is also the state language of Goa.Thereafter, Aug 20 is celebrated as the ‘Manyata Divas’ (Recognition Day). Every Konkani takes pride in celebrating this day and pays tribute to the heroes who struggled for this great achievement. Manyata Divas is celebrated by a number of Konkani organisations world-wide. This day brings together different Konkani communities on one platform in order to show solidarity and unite for ‘Konkani Mai’, our mother tongue.Konkani is a complex but interesting language. Though its origin and period of existence is not clear, its traits of migration are very clear. Its influence on languages such as Bengali, Bhojpuri, Haryanvi, Rajasthani, Gujarati and Marathi shows that the Konkanis faced a great deal of odds before settling themselves comfortably along the Konkan coast amongst various Dravidian languages. Possibly because of these challenges, Konkani people are very vibrant and an enterprising community. The Konkani people are found all over India and in every nook and corner of the world. They have made their presence felt in every sector - banking, education, health, IT, BT sectors, corporate world, bureaucracy, politics, cinema, sports. You name it and they are there. Konkanis by nature are hard-working, honest and a dedicated lot. Though Konkanis are a miniscule percentage of the Indian population, they have made a mark in this great nation.Konkanis also identify with the Indian spirit - Unity in Diversity.Konkani is also the mother tongue of people who follow 3 major religions – Hinduism, Christianity and Islam. It is practised and spoken by 41 different communities, has 5 scripts and innumerous dialects, culture and traditions that keep changing every 40-50 kms along the west coast, starting from Gujarat to Kerala.In the coming weeks, we will discover more about the complex but curious Konkani world.As president of Karnataka State Konkani Sahitya Academy, I am duty bound to bring together all forms, cultures, traditions and faiths of Konkani together.Let us all unite while we retain our individual identity. Long live Konkani. Author:Roy Castelino, President, Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy