Coast plays host at Konkani dhamaka

By Anita Prabhu

The Konkani Association of Australia (KAA) held its annual cultural program, Kala Utsav (Arts Festival), at Roselea Community Centre, Beecroft on Sunday, 2 November.

KAA is a community membership association which was established in 2011 in Sydney to promote Konkani language, tradition and culture. The Konkani community hails from the Konkan coast, along the west coast of India, encompassing Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and Kerala.

The program began with the traditional “lighting of the lamp” by chief guest Kumud Merani, Executive Producer of the SBS Hindi Radio Program. The evening was ably hosted by Vandana Chandawarkar and Ganesh Kamath.

The entertainment program was packed with songs, dances and games. Ganesh vandana by Dev and Kiyaan Koppikar with Sameer Bhandary on tabla,

Sanjana Chandawarkar’s graceful bharatanatyam performance, Shreya Kamath’s beautiful keyboard pieces, Yashika Kamath’s melodious song “Pyar Hua Chupke Se”, Rajiv Pai’s “Gulabi aakhen”, Gouri Pai’s semi-classical dance and Sunil Pai’s rendition of the Kannada song “Kanna Kannasalige”, were some of the highlights. (Article continues after photo gallery)

A riot of colours and energy exploded on the stage when Bollywood dances took over, which showcased the talent and enthusiasm of the KAA members, including children.

The Goan Dhekni dance, produced by Blossom Bhandarkar, was wonderful. The boat prop, the catchy Konkani song “hanv saiba peltadi vaita”, the men in their folksy “koli” attire, the women swaying gracefully, in nine yard saris, wearing traditional jewellery and hair coiffured in “ambodas” complete with the “mogra venis”, transported the audience back in time to the home shores.

To cap off an excellent evening, the dance floor was thrown open to young and old, who danced away, late into the night.

The evening was truly a memorable one, made possible by KAA president Dr Athin Sujeer, event director Rajashree Shenoy, KAA committee members, generous support of sponsors and a grant from Multicultural NSW.

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