Vajra Kutka – Traditional Diamond Earrings

Vajra Kutka – Traditional Diamond Earrings
by Rekha Rao Kaval, Mumbai, India

pics of Vajra Kutka - Traditional Konkani Diamond EarringsAmongst the Saraswat community , Vajra Kutka and Kashi thali are two pieces of traditional jewellry of great importance and significance for married women. In arranged marriages it is customary that the Vajra Kutaka (diamond earrings) is given by the bride’s side while Kashi thali is given by the groom’s side. This custom is still prevalent in India. Although times have changed bringing in its wake Sangeet, Mehndi and reception and sometimes cocktail parties too. However the expenses for all these functions are normally borne by the bride’s side. This story revolves around one such Vajra Kutka. Continue reading “Vajra Kutka – Traditional Diamond Earrings”

Vajra Kutka – Traditional Diamond Earrings

Girls Making Papad 2

Picture of girls making papad in Kumta, India

x-posted from my blog.
A few years back while visiting Kumta I went back to the little shack where I had earlier seen young women making papad (writeup and pics). I was glad to see that this little cinderblock workshop was still active, and women came together to make papad and other eatables to sell in local stores. I like the light in this pic.

Other Related Kumta posts:

Girls Making Papad 2

Konkani Movie: Ujwaadu

Look what came across my inbox.

From the Deccan Herald – City Herald, Mangalore, Oct 15, 2011


It was after a gap of 35 years that a film in Konkani GSB dialect has been produced in the country. The movie hit the screen in Mangalore on Friday,writes Sandhya C D’Souza

Konkani Movie Ujwaadu Arun ShanbhagWhen many speak about the need to keep Konkani culture alive, Srinivas Rao S popularly known as Kasragod Chinna has proved this in his actions by directing the Konkani film ‘Ujwaadu’ (Light). The film in pure Gowd Saraswath Brahmin (GSB) Konkani is the third film in this dialect to hit the screens after a gap of 35 years.

“Konkani is my mother tongue and being an actor and filmmaker I felt an urge to make a Konkani film,” says Chinna to City Herald. Continue reading “Konkani Movie: Ujwaadu”

Konkani Movie: Ujwaadu

President Pratibha Patil lauds Konkani community

Governor H.R. Bhardwaj (left), President Pratibha Patil, Minister for Higher Education V.S. Acharya and Uttarakhand Governor Margaret Alva at the Vishwa Konkani Ekta Diwas.

From The Hindu.

MANGALORE: President Pratibha Patil on Thursday asked Konkani writers to highlight issues which make youth conscious about values nurtured continuously by civilization. The task of literature is to make youth aware of their responsibility in upholding the country’s rich heritage, she said. Ms. Patil was addressing a gathering at the Vishwa Konkani Ekta Divas at the Nehru Maidan here.

Mandd Sobhan, a Konkani cultural organisation in the city, had organised the programme as part of a series of events during the 25-day First World Konkani Cultural Convention which is under way here.

The President said the colour and flavour of a language lay is in its literature. It is a platform to express ideas and thoughts, thus giving to language an emotional appeal and a moral and social standing.

“Literature has a social responsibility. It can have an inspirational influence when it highlights issues which make our youth conscious about the values nurtured continuously by our civilisation,” she said.

Ms. Patil said that literature could be an instrument of bringing harmony to society and strengthening national unity. “I hope that Konkani writers can contribute to the national integration process as well as to eradicate social evils, by creating awareness among people through their writings,” she said.

Above two pics are from here.

The President said as an enlightened community, the Konkani people were among the first to recognise the importance of education. They set up schools and educational institutions and showed special interest in educating their family members. She said that Konkani people who had always been peace-loving had a rich and traditional culture. They were hard working and enterprising. Konkanis actively participated in the freedom movement and after Independence contributed immensely to political, economic and social life of the country.

They formed one of the most diverse denominations in the country with many community identities and include Hindus, Christians and Muslims. Yet, they were bound by the common Konkani language.

Read complete article.

President Pratibha Patil lauds Konkani community

President Patil at World Konkani Unity Day

Prez Patil to grace World Konkani Unity Day

MANGALORE: President Pratibha Patil will be the chief guest at the Vishwa Konkani Ekta Divas (World Konkani Unity Day) being organized as part of the maiden Vishw Konkani Sanskrutik Mahamell ( First World Konkani Cultural Convention) here on December 9. The convention per se featuring over 1,500 artists from 75 troupes from around the world will be held at Kalaangann, Shaktinagar near here from November 25.

Eric Ozario, gurkaar of Mandd Sobhann, the premier Konkani cultural organization told reporters here on Tuesday that the convention will be spread over a period of 25 days and end on December 19. It will showcase to the world, the beauty and variety of Konkani culture and strive to enhance the ‘swabhimaan’ of every Konkani.

Read more: World Konkani Unity Day – The Times of India

President Patil at World Konkani Unity Day

AMKA 25th Anniversary Celebrations

Submitted by an AMKA Spokesperson.

On Saturday, November 27th, 2010, the American Midwest Konkani Association (AMKA) celebrated “Raupya Mahotsav” (Silver anniversary celebrations).

The event held in a grand banquet hall tastefully decorated by AMKA’s own members, set the ambience and mood for the events to follow. It was a glorious event showcasing the awe-inspiring talents of AMKA members. Kudos to the AMKA-25 organizers and the vast army of volunteers on a wonderful event!

In this festive season of giving thanks and counting blessings, it was most heartening to note that the foundation laid down by the visionaries who founded AMKA is being carried onward and forward into the 21st century by able and willing younger generations.

The spectacular opening ceremony paid homage not only to AMKA’s 25 glorious years of promoting our precious heritage, but also to the fair city of Chicago that we call home. In welcoming the audience, the opening speakers recounted highlights of AMKA’s history in “Panch-vees varsaan khabbari”.

The festivities began with a video montage of past 25 years of AMKA functions and performances – giving the audience a sense for how the organization (and its members) has grown. Dazzling dances, from graceful Bharata Natyam to energetic Bhangra to skillful Bollywood moves, kept the audience enthralled. Humorous plays, a colorful fashion show featuring multi generations, a karaoke competition and a game show challenging entire audience’s knowledge of Konkani language, history and culture called “Tumka gottas ve?” provided a full spectrum of entertainment for the evening. Enthusiastic participation of AMKA members from every stage of life showcased the continued involvement from generations to come for many more years. Featured artist Samarth Nagarkar, held the audience spell-bound with his masterful singing.

The community honored the founders of AMKA and tireless services of key members. As part of the celebration, each AMKA family also received a memorable souvenir and a 25-recipes booklet. After the closing ceremonies, a sumptuous dinner was served. The best part of this gala celebration was meeting friends, catching up on “panchaytika” and playing with the tiniest and cutest AMKA members. The celebration continued into the night with almost all of the 190 attendees dancing to the energetic and vibrant tunes of home-grown DJ. When AMKA “got the choice to sit it out or dance, AMKA danced”!

AMKA has plenty to celebrate. Together with its non-profit parent association AKA (American Konkani Association), AMKA is considered one of the oldest and most inclusive Konkani associations in North America and has been a pioneer in many ways. With the backing of these associations, the Chicagoland Konkanis were the first to: enact a full-length Konkani play, publish two community cookbooks and award scholarships.

May AMKA continue to prosper and nurture new generations of Konkanis for years to come!

[Note: No names have been mentioned in this article for there are too many to name and not wanting to inadvertently leave out any.]

AMKA 25th Anniversary Celebrations

Video: Approaching Kumta

cross-posted from my post here.

Those who have ridden the Konkan Railway can attest, the emerald green fields and the rural countryside is mesmerizing. I think of an early retirement in a village, a small house and running a school.

To share the genesis of this madness, I recorded the view. Here is a 67 second snippet, as the train crossed the Aghanashini River and approached the Kumta Train station. I recorded this from the doorway with my flip video, amidst the rain and rumbling of the train. Enjoy and tell me what you think.

Music: Mere Desh Ka Salaam, Shobha Gurtu.

Note: Move your mouse out of the video frame, to lose the black border.

Browse some of My posts on Kumta:

Video: Approaching Kumta