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.]