Mother Tongue is supposed to be the language of the natives, which most often than not, is one factor that binds the locals together, it is so embalmed in their culture, that it gives them a distinct Identity, it also becomes a medium used to express or communicate among the locals and it is also a medium that all the locals adept to very easily, universally this is supposed to be true but not in the case of Goans. Goans say that their Mother Tongue is Konkanni, but for some unknown reasons, Goans in Mumbai prefer to speak in Marathi, Hindi or English but not in Konkani, the Goan Diaspora spread all over the world, proudly speak in English, most of them don’t even acknowledge that Konkanni is their Mother Tongue, worse still are the educated Goans in Goa, who prefer to speak in English rather than in Konkanni, what are we trying to prove ? What are we trying to show ? We say we are Goans and we love Konkanni but when it come to proving it, we fall way short in our commitment towards Konkanni.
We all say we love Goa and we love Konkanni, but when it comes to giving Konkanni it’s due place, we fail to deliver. We have become victims of our own insecure ideology, where we think speaking English puts us on higher strata of society. The Goan Diaspora community is the only community that that does not project it’s Mother Tongue “Konkanni”, be it in our family gathering, community gathering or even Goan conventions, Konkanni is seldom used as the means of communication. We like to show off our acquired skills in a language that had ruled, most part of India for more than 400 years, there is no doubt that English is an international language and comparatively, we Goans can match anyone on the globe in English, that does not mean we should neglect our Mother Tongue and treat it disgracefully.
It is so good to see the Mangalorean Community never falling short in their commitment towards Konkanni, so why should we Goans be any less committed to the cause of Konkanni ? At present, Goans in Goa and the Goan Diaspora spread all over the world, say we love Goa and Konkanni and would protect both by whatever means, but unfortunately, fail to show it by our deeds.
If Konkanni is loosing it’s hold in Goan families, it is the elders of the family, that are to be blamed, it is the elders in the family who have to show their love for Konkanni and have to make sure that our children learn and love our Mother Tongue. Our Children in the Gulf and rest of the world, hardly speak a word of Konkanni nor do they understand it, if we don’t teach our children Konkanni and our culture, who will carry forward our Identity and our culture ?
We try to give our children the best in everything, so why not Konkanni ? It’s so pathetic when the younger generation are made to utter a few sentences in Konkanni during a function, which do not sound anything like Konkanni, why do we have add insult to injury or rub salt and vinegar, to the already open wounds of Mother Konkanni ? Why may I ask, why ? It does stretch the limits of credulity.
Once, there was a time when, I myself was a victim of my own thinking, showing off my accented English in public and look for reactions, even if people spoke to me in Konkanni, I would reply in English, but soon I was made to realize that I was not only ungrateful and not being fair to my Mother Tongue but was also insulting my Mother Tongue, whom I should be honouring instead, it was then that I took a vow to speak Konkanni and uphold the cause of Konkanni, irrespective of the what others did around me. The very idea of reading and writing Konkanni was repulsive and never cared a damn about it, but today I can proudly say that I can read very well and write reasonably too and I am still learning. I am sure that if I have done it, so can every Goan too.
If you really love Goa and our culture, speak in Konkanni and spread the Goan flavour and the essence of Konkanni all around you, if not, there is nothing we can do about it, but for God’s sake stop calling yourself a GOAN
Freddy Agnelo Fernandes Dubai , UAE.