Remembering the person who resurrected Konkani- Sebastiao Rudolfo Dalgado

Dalgado Konknni Akademi (DKA) organised a special programme on May 8 at Institute Menezes Braganza, Panaji to celebrate the 163rd birth anniversary of Sebastiao Rudolfo Dalgado after whose name Dalgado Konknni Akademi is named in the year 1988. The chief guest, Parish priest of Saint Francis Xavier Church, Borim, a visiting professor at Rachol Seminary and a Konkani writer, Fr Manuel Gomes while speaking at the function said that he too has been trying to promote Konkani in his parish by following in the footsteps of Dalgado. Until a few years ago most of the texts on the niches in the cemetery in my parish were either written in English or Portuguese. Now, around 27 memorial niches have been replaced with text in Romi Konkani which was either in English or Portuguese script, said Fr Manuel adding that though we earn our living by speaking in English we should not let go of our mother language, Konkani.

The day Konkani will not be used in churches that day will be the beginning of the end of Konkani in Goa, said the president of Dalgado Konknni Akademi (DKA), Tomazinho Cardozo while addressing the gathering on the occasion. We have to do away with the inferiority complex associated with Konkani and only then will our language develop and flourish, said Tomazinho adding that we should try to use Konkani in our day to day conversation at home or in society.

Professor Edward de Lima delivered a lecture on the contribution of Dalgado to Konkani language and traced his life journey. Dalgado wrote three books named Konkani– Portuguese Kosh (1893), Portuguese– Konkani Kosh (1895) and Konkani Munyachi Girestkai (1922). At a time when the existence of Konkani was threatened by the Portuguese language in Goa, Dalgado played a key role in ensuring that the language survived the tide of time, said De Lima. To this De Lima added that, despite knowing other regional languages like Marathi, Sanskrit, Kanada Dalgado also did an in-depth study on foreign languages like Latin, Persian, Portuguese, English, to name a few, but he gave importance to Konkani.

Also present for the event were Assagao Sarpanch, Jaldev Govekar, secretary of DKA, Vincy Quadros and treasurer of DKA, Celso Fernandes. As part of the birth anniversary celebration, a cultural programme was also organised.