Kuwait: ‘Twinkling Stars’ win ‘GULAB’ Carol Singing Competition

Report by Gasper Crasto, Pics by Johnny Pereira
Daijiworld Media Network - Kuwait (SP)

Kuwait, Dec 31: The tradition of Christmas carols dates back to as far as the thirteenth century, although carols were originally the folk songs sung during celebrations like harvest, tide or Christmas. It was only later that these songs of praise and joy began to be sung in churches, and be specifically associated with Christmas.For the first time in Kuwait, a Goan organization took up the challenge to organize a ‘Carol singing competition’ as part of the third and final event of the' GULAB' Konkani magazine’s silver jubilee celebrations that started in June 2008. A number of groups participated in the competition and did their best to impress the judges with soulful rendering of carols.  The event, organized by  Kala Mogui Kuwait (KMK) and Gulab Working Committee, was held at the Carmel School auditorium, Kheitan, Kuwait on the evening of Friday December 26 – the Boxing Day. The groups that presented their carols which were mostly in Konkani, as well as in English were: ‘Life Group, Kheitan’, ‘Twinkling Stars’, ‘Mankam Motiam’, ‘Zokzokit Taram (Senior)’, ‘Zokzokit Taram (Junior)’ and guest singers ‘City Carolers’. 

The highlight of the day was a live presentation of the Infant’s birth by ‘Life Group, Kheitan’ with the participation of 25 tiny tots and co-ordinated by a dozen  seniors. Another feature of the evening was a skit titled "Natalanchi Bhett," authoured  by Lino Dourado and directed by Sushil Amonkar, and a solo song ‘Love in Winter Wonderland’ sung by Micky Fernandes. The judges for the Carol Singing Competition were Effie De Melo, Faustino Menezes and Anthony Gonsalves. The judges unanimously declared the 'Twinkling Stars' as winners of the first ever Gulab Carol singing competition with a total of 114 points, closely followed by the “Mankam Motiam” team as the first runners-up with 108 points.  “Zokzokit Taram” was the second runners-up with 102 points. The auditor/modulator for the judges was Manuel F X Fernandes, senior Konkani stage artiste, and  Anjali Amonkar, yet another recent  stage sensation in Kuwait. Earlier, the judges were introduced to the audience by KMK President/compere Dominic Araujo. Another star Konkani stage artiste Querobina Carvlaho handed the competition folders and guidelines to the jury. 

The main focus of the silver jubilee celebrations was to create additional awareness about ' GULAB' – the first Konkani magazine to be published in Roman Konkani, a dream concept of late Fr Freddy J Da Costa, its former editor and publisher. For details on how to subscribe, advertise or present writings in Konkani for inclusion in the forthcoming issues of GULAB, readers in Kuwait may contact Tel: +965 99391452 / +965 24726524 or email gulabq8@gmail.com. For all other queries, Fausto V Da Costa, editor of 'GULAB' in Goa can be reached by email at fausto@vsnl.net.

The past two events were organized on a much grander scale and had a large audience for the professional tiatr troupe that was flown in from Goa for the 15 August 2008 (Independence Day) show. The second event was ‘Konkani Variety Show” held on October 9, which had a participation of over 100 singers/choreographers/Konkani stage artistes, and also was attended by 'Gulab’s editor himself, specially flown in to grace the occasion along with a well-known Konkani writer Pio Esteves. The organizers thanked the Konkani lovers, the Goan and Mangalorean community in Kuwait, well-wishers, raffle players, the new Gulab subscribers, the tiatrists, tiatr lovers and leaders, coordinators and participants of all the three events. It may be of interest to note that Kala Mogui Kuwait has organized several events on a grand scale during this calendar year itself, which deserves to be acclaimed. Entry to these events were free except for the first “tiatr” presentation.

Dominic Araujo compered the event which also included a brief GWS Educational Award ceremony.   Sr Maria Lytta, principal of Carmel School gave away the awards. The event could have been better organized by Goan Welfare Society, as the ceremony appeared to be slightly on a low key and lacklustre one, as except for one awardee’s parent, the other three were collected by GWS committee members themselves. The awards were donated by Sam Alphonso couple.

Konkani poet and writer Lino B Dourado was at his best, conducting the Konkani ‘Christmas’ quiz and jokes to the amusement of all. Dourado’s superbly written Konkani play “Natalanchi Bhett” was both entertaining and thought-provoking,which had the participation of popular Konkani stage artistes Querobina Carvalho, Braz de Parra, Lawrie Miranda, Micky Fernandes, the much appreciated Anjali Amonkar with guest appearance by teenagers Graham Rodrigues and Abigail Pereira. The play was directed by Sushil Amonkar. The message conveyed in the play was indeed a ‘gift’ for ‘Christmas’ as the title itself signified.

A special thanks-giving presentation of mementos was organized for Cruz and Elva Rodrigues of Life Group Kheitan, Aurora Fernandes of Twinkling Stars, Agnela Fernandes of Zokzokit Taram, Antonette Sequeira of Mankam Motian and Simon Dias of City Carolers. The judges Effie De Melo, Faustinho Menezes and Anthony Gonsalves also received mementos apart from the guest artistes Graham Rodrigues and Abigail Pereira. Gulab Working Committee’s dedicated members who were presented mementos were Sushil Amonkar, Anjali Amonkar, Manuel F X Fernandes, Gaspar Almeida, Micky Fernandes, Lino B Dourado, Laurence Miranda, Querobina Carvalho, Braz Rodrigues (de Parra), Gracy Morais, Felix Fernandes (de Merces). A very special memento was presented to the family of Domingos Araujo. 

The Gulab carol singing competition was supported by Agnelo Baracho, Wilson Coelho and Luis B Cardozo and family. Music Maestro Socorro De Melo supported Mankam Motiam and Zokzokit Taram,  the two groups that were co-ordinated by the KMK President. As an encouraging gesture, a special memento was presented by Kala Mogui Kuwait to Agnela Fernandes for her tireless efforts, costume design and support towards the competition. The lucky draw for the Gulab Novelty prize went to Coupon # 180. 

Luis B Cardozo’s contribution and support was duly acknowledged with a presentation of a special memento. In his short speech,  Cardozo applauded the event organizers for not only bringing together nearly 150 participants on stage for the' GULAB' carol singing competition for the very first time, but also for all the efforts made towards the promotion of Konkani and especially to the GULAB magazine for organizing the last two events during the year.

The show was attended by an enthusiastic festive audience. Towards the end, the arrival of Santa with a heavily loaded bag of gifts, sweets and candies Cheered  the children and with the Christmas music aloud, it was a parting time with the exchange of ‘Seasons’ Greetings’.Special thanks were conveyed by the organizers to the Carmel School authorities, the Kuwaiti press and media, the Arab Times, Kuwait Times, The Times, www.goa-world.com website, indiansinkuwait.com and kuwaitsamachar.com, web portals and the Gulf-Goans e-newsletter and other internet forums.The organizers saluted all those who worked behind the scenes tirelessly for the love of Konkani. Once again kudos to Domnic Araujo who excelled as a leader, organizer and compere. The brain behind the Gulab Silver Jubilee Celebrations, through the Kala Mogui Kuwait was well supported by the Gulab Working Committee. Summing it all in his words, “Wherever there is Konkani I am there.” He further added, “I’ll be ready to organize any further events of such magnitude and nature. I only seek your cooperation”, and the audience applauded,affirming their support to their mother tongue, which happens to be Goa’s state language. 


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Title: Kuwait: ‘Twinkling Stars’ win ‘GULAB’ Carol Singing Competition

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