Nathal Fest 2010

Report by Stan D’souza
Photographs By: Sabrina Wing  and  Santhosh Veigas

Click here  for to view the Album

Chicago, Dec. 20: The Mangalorean Konkan Christians Association (MKCA/USA) presented its prestigious program “Nathal Fest – 2010” (Christmas) at the Sher-E-Punjab Banquet Hall at Downers Grove, Illinois. Even though, the weather was not so favorable; the banquet hall was packed with members and guests. The glorious celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ culminated with great joy when the organizers unleashed the fun-packed activities.

The program began with celebrating the Holy Eucharist by Rev. Fr. Richard Vaz, SVD and Rev. Fr Henry Sequeira in Konkani.  The Homily was delivered by Rev. Fr. Henry Sequeira, who inspired the devotees to share the Peace and Joy with those who are in great need.  He said, “Christ was born to deliver Peace and Joy to the human race and we shall do the same to each other”. The MKCA Choir members sung Konkani and English hymns conducted by Dorothy Rego accompanied by Daphne Fernandes playing the Keyboard.

Queenie Mendonca, the President of the association welcomed the guests, well-wishers and all the members present, especially Mrs. Vandana Jhingan, Chicago Bureau Chief of Asia TV network, who had come to video-graph the celebration. In her welcome speech, the president said, “it is the time to be thankful and to share love and thanked the guests for their continued love, support and friendship especially during the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ”. The president also thanked the presence of young and old united in joining this program, which represents the spreading of Joy and Peace from family to society and from society to the world.

The Chairperson of the program Steven D’Souza, who coordinated and organized the program well with his dynamic leadership, invited the audience for a social hour with typical Indian appetizers and the open bar.  The program was followed by the grand arrival of the Santa Clause, to the tune of “Jingle Bells”.  The arrival of Santa, sent electric waves to the children present.  They were all mesmerized and happy to receive gifts from Santa Clause.  The youth participated in the “MKCA Officers” game, which was won by Sherry Fernandes.  There was an interesting “Couple’s Balloon Dance”, which was won by three couples – Sal-Florine Rodrigues, Royce D’Souza-Elizabeth Matthew, and Stan- Vissia D’Souza.

The General Secretary of the Association, Francis Mascarenhas thanked all the audience for their gracious presence. He specially thanked the families who prepared the Kuswar Items.

The sumptuous typical Indian Dinner with never-to-miss home-made Mangalorean cuisine — Dukra Maas (pork meat) and Sannam (idli) was served along with mouth watering deserts.

There were unique door prizes and a silent auction, courtesy – of Clay Oven Restaurant, Priya Restaurant, Sam’s Club, Panera, Hawthorn Suites, and various items donated by team members.  The organizers presented all the attendees with “Kuswar Packets”, the typical Mangalorean style Christmas goodies, prepared by the Members of MKCA.  This is a typical Mangalorean Konkan Christian culture, whereby families prepare Christmas goodies and share them with their relatives and neighbors during Christmas time – a mark of the sharing of joy.  As usual the attendees hit the dance floor with full force for the musical tunes of Konkani, English, Spanish and Hindi songs. The DJ was conducted by Allen Martis.

The program was well compered by the event Chairperson Steven D’Souza.

Christmas Around the World Presented at Museum of Science and Industry

Report by Stan D’Souza
Pics by Santhosh Veigas

For more pictures by Sabrina Wing click here

Chicago, Dec. 14, 2010: In the midst of the celebration of 69th Christmas Around the World and Holiday Light event at the Museum of Science and Industry, the Mangalorean Konkan Christian’s Association (MKCA/ USA) proudly presented variety of cultural activities to showcase the rich cultural heritage of India.  This is the Eighth program in succession presented by MKCA, USA, at this cultural jamboree.  In this mega event people from different ethnic backgrounds representing more than 50 countries from Astria to Zambia have participated.  It was a unique opportunity for MKCA, USA, to represent India in this mega event.

Daphne Fernandes

Emcee – Immediate Past President, Lawrence Mascarenhas

Crystal Rodrigues Singing US National Anthem

President – Queenie Mendonca

Fr. Richard Vaz, SVD – CATW Chairperson

The Museum halls are decked, holiday singers and dancers fuel the festivities, and the forest of decorated trees greets everyone at the Museum..  The Museum’s 45-foot Grand Tree takes center stage in the Rotunda with more than 30,000 lights and 1,000 ornaments, and it is surrounded by more than 50 smaller trees representing 50 countries – beautifully decorated by volunteers from Chicago’s ethnic communities.

As usual, the President of MKCA/USA Ms. Queenie Mendonca, welcomed the audience present.  In her brief welcome speech, she described how rich and diverse is the Indian cultural heritage; and informed the audience that the Christianity originated in India through St. Thomas, the Apostle of Jesus, about 2000 years back – much before it was spread to many of the European countries.  Rev. Fr. Richie Vaz, SVD, Chairperson of the program, presented well-rounded message about the birth of Jesus Christ and the message of Peace and Eternal Life.  In his message he said “Jesus Christ, a messenger of peace, was the Christmas Gift from God for all of us. Let us renew and share that peace and joy among ourselves and especially among those who deprived of this gift”

The cultural program was initiated by singing “The Star-sprangled Banner”, the US national anthem by Crystal Rodrigues, who mesmerized the audience with her deep melodious voice.  This was followed by live Tableau of “Birth of Jesus Christ”, intertwined with Dances from Kalapriya Dance School and Utkala Dance Center.  The MKCA, USA members presented unique Konkani Christmas Carols during the Tableau.   Ms. Daphne Fernandes gave special touch to the Carols by playing the Piano.  The Odissi Dance and especially, the Lord of Universe Dance by Utkala Dance Center gave a special meaning to this “Birth of Jesus Christ” tableau.  The Kalapriuya Dance Academy presented the up-beat dances of Bangra and Dandia.  All the dances presented depicted different facets of classical and regional nuances of Indian sub-continent.

In its conclusion all the participants of the program sang the Indian National Anthem, the “Jana Gana Mana”. The compeer of the program, Lawrence Mascarenhas, Immediate Past President of MKCA, thanked the members and audience for their wonderful participation.  He specially thanked Pramita Jain, Artistic Director of Kalapriya Dance Academy and Ipsita Satpathy, Artistic Director of Utkala Dance Center for their great performance.  He informed the audience present that MKCA is poised to celebrate its annual gala program of Nathal Fest (Christmas) on Saturday, December 18, 2010 and requested them to follow-up with website for further information.