Chicago: The Mangalorean Konkan Christian Association had its 17th annual Christmas celebration at St. Hubert’s Church Hall at Hoffman Estates, Illinois on December 15. In the Konkani language, the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ is popularly known as ‘Nathal Fest’.
Before the cultural extravaganza, the Holy Mass was celebrated by Fr. Mike Scherchel and attended by the MKCA members and guests.
Soon after, the cultural programme began with a welcome note from the President of MKCA, Vissia D’Souza, who introduced her Executive Committee to the audience and requested them to come forward to organise a new Executive Committee for the next two years. She then thanked her committee, members and guests for their support in the success of several annual programmes. She also thanked the Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Mike Scherchel and presented to him a cheque for his generosity in providing the venue.
The former president of MKCA, Dr. Austin Prabhu also requested members of the audience to form a new executive committee. Soon, members volunteered to form the Committee under the leadership of John Dias (incoming President). The new executive committee members are: Vice President- Lancy D’Souza, Secretary- Patcy Lasrado and Joint Secretary- Roopa Misquita. The incoming President, John Dias, in his acceptance speech, assured that he will work hard to keep the Mangalorean culture alive through the organization’s unique programmes. He then requested the other members for their support in the coming year’s programmes.
The compeer of the program, former President, Steven D’Souza conducted several group activities. The winners of these activities are as follows: Novelty Ball winners (couple dance)- Sal and Florine Rodrigues, Best Ethnic Dress winners- Roopa Misquita (female group) and Ethan Misquita (male group). 'Children’s Musical Chairs' winners and 'Adult Musical Chairs with a Twist' winners were also given prizes.
Later, members of the Soorya Dance Academy performed a duet dance which was enjoyed by the audience.
The members and children present then sang Christmas carols under the leadership of Concy Mesquita. The grand entry of Santa Claus (Dr. Austin Prabhu) during the Jingle Bells carol, thrilled the young children present. Santa Claus entertained the children with Christmas gifts and the rest of the audience took pictures with him.
The programme was then concluded with a sumptuous ethnic dinner followed by a dance session where the audience danced to DJ Queenie Mendonca’s tunes of Konkani, Hindi and Spanish songs.
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