MKCA, USA Celebrates Nathal Fest – 2013

Report By: Stany D’Souza                                             Photographs by: Austin D’Souza Prabhu

For full picture album click here

Chicago, Dec. 21: The birth of Jesus is celebrated by 2.2 billion people worldwide, which is one in every 3 persons in this world. As the Christians are in festive mood preparing for Christmas the Mangalorean Konkan Christians Association presented its prestigious 12thChristmas program, at Sher-E-Punjab Banquet Hall at Downers Grove, Illinois. Although the evening was muggy, rainy and cold, people from around the Chicagoland area ventured to join together and share their joy and happiness with each other. The organizers unleashed fun-packed activities, which prompted everyone from toddlers to the aged to hit the dance floor.

The program began with celebration of Holy Eucharist by Rev. Fr. Richard Vaz, SVD, Rev. Fr. Cyril Fernandes and Rev. Fr. Henry Sequeira. The Holy Eucharist was conducted in Konkani and in English. During the Holy Eucharist, the MKCA choir members sung Konkani and English hymns under the leadership of Dorothy Rego. The Homily was delivered by Rev. Fr. Cyril Fernandes, who inspired the devotees to share the Peace and Joy with those who are in great need. He narrated his own childhood in his family, where they all joined together for hours to prepare Christmas goodies or Kuswar. He said we have to inculcate those values where we join together to share the joy with each other not only as a family but also as community at large. He said, Christ was born to deliver Peace and Joy to the human race and we shall do the same to each other.

The President of the association Godwin Rego, welcomed all the guest, well-wishers and members present. He thanked the presence of young and old in joining this program, which represents spread of Joy and Peace to the world. He thanked his Executive committee in successfully conducting several programs during his tenure. He thanked all the well-wishers and guests for their ardent support in achieving this success.

The compeer of the program Vissia D’Souza, invited the audience to savor the typical Indian appetizers and the open bar, courtesy MKCA. The program was followed by activities to the young and old conducted by the current Secretary of the Association Steven D’Souza. The President Godwin Rego, distributed prizes to the winners of the activities and door prize winner: Lloyd Quadros, Suraj Mesquita, Leena Mendonca, Sunita Mesquita and Lance Quadros.

As a hallmark of the program, children and adults sang Christmas Carols. As the Christmas carols were concluded, there was grand arrival of the Santa Clause (Steven D’Souza), to the tunes 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. All the audience took pictures along with Santa Clause.

The General Secretary of the Association and the Chairperson of the program, Steven D’Souza, thanked all the audience present for their gracious presence and all those who prepared the Kuswar items. The sumptuous typical Indian Dinner with never-to-miss Dukra Maas (pork meat) and Sannam (idli) – home made, was served along with desert.

The organizers sold the Kuswar packets for a nominal price the typical Mangalorean style Christmas goodies, prepared by the Members of MKCA. The proceeds of this sale was earmarked for the Philippines’ Typhoon victims. 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 sharing of joy. As usual the attendees hit the dance floor for the musical tunes of Konkani, English, Spanish and Hindi songs presented by the D.J. Joey Mendonca.

Christmas Around the World 2013

 Chicago: In the midst of Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago’s 72nd Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light event, the Mangalorean Konkan Christian Association (MKCA), USA presented variety of cultural activities to showcase the rich cultural heritage of India. This is the Eleventh programme in succession presented by MKCA, USA, at this cultural jamboree. In this mega event people from different ethnic backgrounds representing more than 50 countries (including India) participated. It was a unique experience for MKCA, USA, to represent India in this mega event.

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The Museum halls were decked, holiday singers and dancers fueled the festivities, and the sparkle of dozens of decorated trees greeted all at the 72nd annual Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light. The Museum’s 45-foot Grand Tree took center stage in the Rotunda with more than 30,000 lights and 1,000 ornaments, surrounding more than 50 smaller trees – beautifully decorated by volunteers from Chicago’s 50 ethnic communities to represent their country of origin, culture and holiday traditions.
 
The programme was made possible by two cultural organizations of Indian Origin and they were: Kalapriya Dance Academy and Mudra Dance Academy. He thanked all the groups, members and well-wishers for their presentation at this esteemed programme. Introduction to Kalapriya Dance Academy’s Bharathanatyam dances were presented by Kalapriya Dance Students. All the dances presented depicted different facets of classical and regional nuances of the Indian sub-continent. The audience was thrilled to witness the variety, serenity and high voltage dances presented.
 
Jake with his sons James and Phillip and the pianist, Shan Abraham, presented Christmas Carols and boosted the Christmas spirit of the audience with their superb tunes. During this time the entry of live Mother Mary and Joseph (Jossie Mendonca and Jessica Pinto) with Baby Anna as Jesus boosted the theme of the programme. As the members and well-wishers sang, “Dashing through the snow” and “We wish you a Merry Christmas”, the Santa Claus (Austin Prabhu) entertained the audience with his dance, “Jingle Bells” and wishes of the season.
 
MKCA will be celebrating its annual gala programme of Nathal Fest or Christmas on Saturday, December 21, 2013. For more details log on to : www.mkcausa.org