The Konkani Association of Australia (KAA) held its flagship program Amgel Utsav on the 6th August 2017 at the Quakers Hill Community Centre. This full day event celebrated Konkani culture, language and tradition. The day was reminiscent of celebrations on the Konkan Coast (through Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and Kerala) with Banana Trees and mango leaf toran decorations at the door. Members were welcomed with a hearty breakfast of Idli Vada Chutney, Kesari bhaat, Masala Chai and Paanak.
The program commenced with chanting to invoke Lord Ganesha. The festival of Sutta Punnav (annual “Sacred Thread” changing ceremony) was explained and sacred threads blest by the priest in Mangalore were offered to the men to wear. The Chudi Pooja ceremony was performed with much gusto. This is a traditional social and religious function performed by married ladies during the month of Shraavan) by offering small corsages to Tulsi (sacred basil plant), the family alter and finally to each other. Among the day’s activities were a fusion dance, fancy dress, humorous Konkani take on music or Taal, rendition of Goenkarponn a song from Goa that celebrates Konkani roots and Amhi Konkani a Trivia Quiz Game based on Konkani Gavn, temples, traditions and festivals. A sumptuous lunch gave people an opportunity to enjoy traditional food while catching up with old friends and making new ones.
Other functions held this year include a Seniors Day (held at the Migrant Resource Centre in Parramatta), a picnic at Fagan Park, Sarvajanic Satyanarayan Puja in Carlingford, and a Red Cross Blood Donation Drive in Parramatta. The next event is Diwali Dhamaka & AGM to be held on 4th November at Quakers Hill.
The Konkani Association of Australia was established in March 2011 in Sydney, Australia. KAA’s aim is to provide support for migrants, seniors, youth and families in the Konkani community and help them to assimilate in the general Australian community. It provides a forum for social networking and to develop leadership skills, teamwork and self-confidence among our members while keeping our language and culture alive. A quarterly magazine and Facebook page support this aim. To become a member or find out more contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website www.konkani.org.au.
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