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In sync with Goa

The Goa Cultural and Social Centre ( GCSC) returns with yet another edition of ‘Mhozo Tallo Aikat’, an All Goa Konkani Solo Singing Competition. Bharati Pawaskar has the details

13th May 2018, 06:36 Hrs


It’s time for Goan singers to brush up on their Konkani tunes as Mhozo Tallo Aikat ( Listen to my voice), an All Goa Konkani Solo Singing Competition organised by the Goa Cultural and Social Centre ( GCSC) is back for yet another edition. The competition is part of the Golden Jubilee year celebrations of the centre which commenced on January 16, 2018.

“We are organising Mhozo Tallo Aikat on June 16 at 4.30 pm at Institute Menezes Braganza Hall in Panaji. The preliminaries will be held on Sunday, May 27 at 9.30 am and the final rehearsal will be on June 10 at 9.30 am at Clube Vasco da Gama, Panaji,” says Francisco A de Noronha, president, Goa Cultural and Social Centre, Panaji. 

Founded in 1969, the centre is one of the first cultural organisations that bagged the ‘State Cultural Award’ given by government of Goa in 2015 for its vibrant participation in reviving the culture of Goa.

The Konkani singing competition of GCSC has a history of 22 years and is organised to create and boost stage singers. Following a brief lull, the centre revived the contest again in 2015 as Mhozo Tallo Aikat. This is the fourth edition of Mhozo Tallo Aikat and the centre is determined to continue it despite financial problems. “We don’t advertise, only do word of mouth publicity which is enough to invite participation from across the state,” he says, adding, “The number of participants and the quality of the programme is going up year by year.”

The selection of participants will depend on the songs as well as the quality of the singers. Old songs will be given preference and care will be taken to see that there is no repetition of songs or too many songs by the same singer. This is to ensure that the audience does not lose interest and also to maintain variety. The accompanying musicians will also be playing live on the stage instead of backstage.  

Registered on March 5, 1971, GCSC is noted for its contribution to the preservation and promotion of Goan cultural heritage and ethos. The centre promotes a number of activities every year such as Eminent Goan’s Day, World Elder’s Day, Konkani Poetry Competition as well as workshops and seminars on topics related to the preservation and revival of the language and culture in Goa. 

Apart from the Konkani singing contest, the centre also took over the organising of the All Goa state -level Mando Festival since 1974. Earlier, the festival was organised by Clube Nacional and Konkani Bhasha Mandal

“We celebrated 50 years of the all Goa state-level Mando festival in December 2016 and to mark the milestone, the prize money was hiked threefold with the first prize being Rs 10,000, second prize being Rs 7,000 and the third being Rs 5,000. The participants were also given mementos to mark this occasion,” says Noronha, who is happy that the number of participating groups has increased over the years and reached to over 50 now.

The GCSC works towards a number of goals. Apart from promoting and encouraging the educational, cultural and social development of the Goans, it also strive to uplift the cultural standard of the community by means of conferences, meetings, symposia, debates, exhibitions, sports, songs and folklore dances, folk plays etc. 

“Not limiting ourselves with these, we also promote and patronise social services for the welfare of the poor people and to provide them with facilities to improve their lot,” says Noronha. This includes free consultations and medicines to needy patients, giving grants or loans to deserving students who are economically backward, providing employment etc.

It also publishes books, maintains a library hall and conducts classes - and all this, when the centre does not have an office of its own! The members work from their homes and use their own infrastructure to communicate or travel.

The general secretary of the group –Milagres Fernandes is himself a performing artist. A part of the famous trios – Mel, Mil and Nel which works in tiatr, Fernandes has been associated with the GCSC for a decade. 

“We wish to preserve the culture and the language of Goa. The response we get is fantastic. We feel happy that through this singing competition we are able to connect to the people, especially the youth and bring them on a single platform,” he says.

The third active member in the committee is Suresh Azgaonkar, who retired as a principal from Ideal High School five years ago. The responsibility to bring out four souvenirs each year lies entirely on him. 

The GCSC aims at reviving, promoting and perpetuating what is best in the musical and artistic heritage of the Goan people and with the help of the contemporary talent, it wants to bring about a renaissance of the musical culture. “This will enable us to project the image of Goa on the wider canvas of the country at large. Tthe festival is open to all, irrespective of religion or social standing or geographical boundaries,” feels Noronha.

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