Mangalore, which is home to Konkani language, will soon have "Konkani Gaon" (Konkani village) at Shaktinagar.
Even as the preparations are on to hold the foundation stone laying ceremony for the prestigious centre under the leadership of the Kalsank Kamalaksha Pai (K.K. Pai), Basti Vaman Shenoy said the Konkani Gaon will have facilities for research, conference, cultural meets, Konkani heritage village, traditional and religious structures and amphitheatre and open air theatre.
The highlight of the project will be the setting up of Konkani heritage museum.
Mr. Shenoy told that there is a treasure of knowledge in culture, folk and performing art, literature, music and theatre. But they are now scattered in Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and Kerala and some parts of Gujarat. Mangalore was strategically suited to have the World Konkani Centre — Konkani Gaon — as Karnataka has over 25 lakh Konkani-speaking people and most of them are in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts.
Mr. Shenoy said the idea of Konkani Gaon came up at the World Konkani Convention held in Mangalore in 1995. To be built on a sprawling three-acre plot at Shaktinagar, the facility will have an exclusive museum which will have the collection brought from Konkani people throughout the country which will portray the culture and life of Konkans.
The Konkani-speaking people among the Hindus, Christians and Muslims in the region.
There are also Konkani tribal groups that have a number of folk traditions. There were 17 sects of Konkani-speaking people and this centre will bring all of them together and will strive to spread the sense of belongingness, Mr. Shenoy said.
Senior Konkani researchers and scholars have agreed to be advisors for the project. Konkani scholars will make efforts to bring back some of the items that have been taken by the Portuguese from Goa. These works are now at Braga Library in Lisbon.
The Konkani Bhas and Sanskriti Pratistan, which will execute the project, plans to start an e-magazine through its website: www.vishwakonkani.org.