Sunday, January 13, 2008


by Basilio Magno (Spain)

When was it the last time you spoke in Konkani, living outside
of Goa? Perhaps on World Goa Day in August 2003. And I say 'outside of
Goa' because even on Goa Day at Bombay's
celebration, according to its organizer Mr. Fausto da Costa
(GRAF) there were over 500 Goans gathered for the function
but they all spoke in English only.

Now if Bombay Goans did that, who should know better the
Konkani language. logically, what chances are there of Goans in Europe or
America speaking the Mothertongue? Surely, there must be some who speak it
at home, as a Portuguese
saying goes: Fora da terra mais patriota. One is more patrio-tic when away
from his/her Motherland.

I too, in Bombay, did not speak Konkani in my youth, because from childhood
we were made to speak in English.
It is only now that I am in Europe for over 43 years, that I have begun to
yearn to speak in Konkani, not satisfied speaking in English, Portuguese,
Spanish and German.
And I may say though I am a Portuguese citizen, having had left Goa prior to
its 'invasion' or 'liberation' whichever you fancy, I have become a better
Konkani patriot. I have no
one in Spain with whom to speak in Konkani, but when the urge is on me I
call my friends in Germany and speak it telephonically. More than that I
read and write profusely with what little Konkani I had learned as an adult 35 of age..

So likewise, I am sure many of you must have knowledge of
Konkani through your grandmothers or, as some say, through
servants. Now you too could have been stuck not having anyone to speak with
and have lost the practice. Here, I think, the Goanet can play an important
role in brushing up your Konkani through the written word, you yourself
writing in Konkani or reading what others write....and reading it loudly to
yourself so that you get the feel of its sound. That's
what I did when I was learning German..reading loudly to exercise the tongue
as well to pronounce the words. Ang I must add that I could learn faster
German because I knew to
read in Konkani....which is similar phonetically.

You don't have to be a Konkani scholar to write on Goanet
or on any other net for that matter. Write as you know to speak it. If you
are a senior Goan like me. you may have learned to say 'aum' instead of
'hanv', or written 'maca' instead of 'mhaka' the sanskrised version now
learnt at
primary schools in Goa. But that does not matter, just write
as you know it from your earlier times. We will all understand you even if
the spelling is not correct, because the sense of the sentence will guide.
Remember, if you can read in Latin, German or Portuguese, you will be able
to read and write in Konkani..

The World Goa Day was created by Rene Barreto in 2000
to awaken Goans to the cause of Konkani. Later he introduced an on-line
Konkaniforum to encourage folks to read and write on the net in Konkani.
Hardly anybody writes. Now more than ever we need to be numbered as Konkani
speakers to hold fast our claim for Konkani as the official language, which
is being disputed by the Marathists
in Goa.

Our vocie to count, the Overseas Goans must firstly campaign for postal
voting rights in Goan politics in Goa. The fate of
Konkani is still hanging in thin air despite the fact it has been
enthroned in the 8th Schedule of the Indian Constitution. Let's get ready
for the battle armed with the knowledge of Konkani, that we may be counted
among the Konkani speaking Goans against Marathiwallas.

I thank the Goanet administrators for permitting this Konkani Action to
promote Konkani among Overseas Goans, till we get someone to write and
publish on Goanet a Konkani course in Roman script, written in simple style
yet correct
grammatically.. In my next post I shall publish a short conver-sational
piece in Konkani, and you will find out how easy it is to speak in Konkani.
There are some others like Lino B. Dourado who are writing in Konkani on
Goanet.which must be read. The more people write the better.

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