Canada, Sep 16: Mangaloreans in Vancouver, look forward to celebrating the tradition of Monthi Fest which brings them together year after year in fellowship and as one family. It recalls the fond memories of their celebrations in Mangaluru and at the same time inculcates awareness of this tradition in the new generation.
This year, they celebrated Monthi Fest on September 9. It was their 15th anniversary celebration here in Vancouver which was started by Fr Jerry D’Souza in the year 2008.
They had new members and immigrants joining in this year which made the numbers attending double than in the year 2022. It was convenient to accommodate attendees in large numbers due to the venue i.e., St Mary’s Church and Hall made available by courtesy of Fr Joseph D’Souza.
The celebration began with gathering at the grotto and blessing of Novem (brought from Mangaluru) by Fr John Pinto and Fr Joseph D’Souza. The festivity and devotion were a sight to watch when little children showered flowers when we sang ‘Moriek Hogallsian’. They went in procession to the church from the grotto singing ‘Sakkad Sangatha Mellyan’ and placed flowers at the altar as they genuflected in worship.
The main celebrant of the Mass was Fr John Pinto and concelebrated by Fr Joseph D’Souza and Fr Claude Saldanha. Fr Joseph delivered a meaningful homily which emphasized on forgiveness. Most of the Mass was in Konkani. The choir sang the best of Konkani hymns melodiously.
They then proceeded to the beautifully decorated basement hall for Monthi Fest dinner. The programme began with Fr John blessing the novem drink specially prepared for the occasion and consumed by all. It was like a family meal with so many families cooking authentic Monthi Fest dishes like polov, sanna, sone, bhenda, moog, karanthen, karamb, beans and vorn. The haldi pattolis were like icing on the cake. The evening was so entertaining, and fun filled with so many games being played, singing, music and entertainment.
It is worth mentioning that so many of the Mangalurean brothers and sisters joined hands together in big numbers, as one family and supported organizing this annual event by cooking food, financial support, decorating the hall and clearing after the event and in many other ways to make it a grand success.