By: Raphael D’Souza | Pics: Sylvester D’souza
London: UK Konkans, the most prominent Konkani associations in the UK, celebrated the Christmas on Sunday, 9th December 2018 in the beautifully decorated venue of Addlestone Leisure Centre. Unlike last year, our guests were blessed with what turned out be a beautiful winters day.
UK Konkans is known for providing fun filled family entertainment; this year too organisers did not leave any stone unturned to stage a spectacular day of fun, dance and whole range of entertainment with their excellent team work. The organisers had to close reservations earlier than expected due to overwhelming response from Konkani lovers. More than 180 people turned out to celebrate Christmas with fellow Mangaloreans.
The program started with carol singing and introductions. The charismatic and energetic duo of Shanti and Kevin compered the event.
Sheela D’silva, the president of UK Konkans warmly welcomed the guests, some of who travelled from faraway places. A One-minute silence was observed in memory of Esthela Vaz, ex-president of UK Konkans.
This year’s cultural show was led by young children with their amazing performances. It was fascinating to see children of ages 4 to 10 enacting the sequence of the night, the Savior was born.
The guest were entertained with amazing dance from Aaron, Eshan, Arwin, Ashton, Ashlyn, Diyona and Aviya. They won the hearts of the crowd through their dance to the tune of Bollywood medley.
The next dance from Cony, Ethan, Keagan, Simi, Rhea and Zoe. Their hard work clearly bore great results as their performance swag se swagat had the audience whistling all through.
Stephen Nixon and Kevin dances were amazing. Their costumes and the moves left the audience loving their performance.
However, the cutest performance of the day was by all our children who performed the impromptu baby shark dance onstage.
Every year, UK Konkans supports charities in the Dakshina Kannada region by selling homemade Kuswar. This year’s chosen charity for Kuswar was Humanity Foundation run by Roshan D'Souza from Belman. The guests were very generous not only in buying the kuswar but also in the auction. The auction was won at £101 by Mrs Lobo and contributions were topped up by Eric, Kevin and John(Watford). In addition, UK konkans sponsored the kuswar making. Total collection raised was a generous amount of £650 which will be donated to Humanity charity. A Big thanks to all our kind-hearted guests who supported this cause.
Arun led the grace before lunch. Delicious home cooked Dukra Maas with Sanna and Chicken Biryani followed by homemade shira (Mangalorean Desert). While crowd enjoyed the sumptuous lunch, they were entertained by Shanti, Gratian and Eric with Konkani and Hindi songs. Aaron D’Souza playing the trumpet to the Konkani tune of Roselin Mujha Mogacha showed the talent in our young children.
A big thanks to the parents who have encouraged their children to create such wonderful performances.
Eric D’Souza, in his comic skits as a mobile doctor and mobile priest, brought laughter in the hall.
New guest were welcomed and introduced to the UK konkans family.
Santa with his bag of goodies had the children jumping with joy. All kids were given sweets to enjoy.
A champion of Konkani community in the UK, 2018 Rachana Award winner, Mr Richard Lobo, was honoured during the event. Tom D’Souza, highlighted his achievements and service to the community. He was felicitated with a shawl and Sheela D’Silva offered bouquet to both Mr & Mrs Lobo.
Mrs Lobo also won the famous UK Konkans Christmas hamper. There were 5 follow on prizes won by the guest.
Young talent Leon Rebello, had the hallmark of a standup comedian with his composed yet humorous dialogue delivery.
The stage was set alight by the scintillating Bollywood dance performance by the trio of Beena D'Souza, Shanti Menezes and Charlotte D’Souza . The dance was well choreographed, executed and enjoyed by all.
Clara Teixeira, UK Konkans general secretary, thanked the sponsors, performers, office bearers, volunteers and all the guests for attending and making the event a success.
A special thanks to our sponsors Mr and Mrs Lobo, Mr and Mrs Cyprian Mendonca, Mr and Mrs Ignatious Rebello, Mr and Mrs Michael Menezes and Mr Chandrashekar(Annapurna rice). They help us keep to ticket prices reasonable for all.
DJ Asley Rodrigues thrilled the dance floor with his great music, songs and routines. The crowd really danced their way to the end with a mix of Hindi, English and Baila songs.
Like all good things end, the day ended with crowd appreciating the hard work of UK Konkans team for a fantastic celebration of Christmas. Date for your diary UK Konkans Christmas 2019 is planned for 8th December 2019 at the same venue. We like to wish all our members and friends a Merry Christmas and Happy 2019.