Tuesday, December 25, 2007

X'mas mass in Goa Velha

I attended the midnight mass on 24th December night with Angela and her family, along with Devart (Bablu) Rana. The main attraction was to see the localization of the global X'mas tradition: the celebration of the birth of Jesus.

Some curious points:
1) Everyone, irrespective of where they were born, celebrate some birth of a man thousands of Km away. They do not know most of the names (Bethelhem, Jerusalem, sea of Mediterrainean) and the times involved.
2) Continuing the above, all think Jesus was white. No mention was made to Judaism and the roots of christianity in Judaism.
3) For common folk, there were skits presented, where common public problems (drinking, gambling, etc.) were shown to have a common cure (christianity). No efforts were made to understand the psychological problems possible, how healing is possible without invoking the Lord, or without any reference to His greatness.
4) Most the examples above were very crude. Indeed, how can theft (possible social and economic factors being dominant) be bracketed with smoking or drugs (where personal factors may dominate)? To localize such problems and separate the different factors behind the cause of such 'illness' is vital to find a cure.
5) Political statements were inserted slyly, for example, SEZs were bad. No reasons were given, except vague statements about nature. How economics matters and how it can sideline sustainable growth is never openly discussed. Perhaps I am expecting too much from an organized religion.

On the other hand:

6) Hindu way of 'pooja' (prayers) was adopted, priests were using 'agarbatti' (incense sticks) to make circular movements in front of the Lord and were chanting. This is very similar to our Ganapati pooja, except the 'arati' is different.
7) Songs were in all local languages, Marathi, Konkani, and (most amusingly) English and Portuguese. English is the medium of choice for the upwardly mobile (like yours truly). Portuguese was displaced from that position after 'independence'...
8) Occasion was treated as a way to show-case local fashions by many. In fact, some local people explained that " 'too many reveling' clothes by front-bencher women kept the priests from falling asleep". The one in the rear rows promptly closed the eyes and caught on their sleep.

After this foreword, here are a couple of songs in Konkani

1) San Kiteak ailai balla?
Sang konnem tuka dhadd-la?
Sorg soddun koso denvloi?
Khoim Mhonn tthikann kortoloi?

Patkantlim soddounk ailam
Devjivit vattunk tumkam
Devmogan tumkam bhoronk.
Bapache vengent vhorunk.

2) Mogan thevlem monxeachea hatant
Devalem dan (3) ball Jezu rupan (2)
Dan tem omolik, kitlem tem vichitr
Guttlailolem soddvonne ghuttant

Natalm disa ailo denvum mog
Amchea kallzamni ravunk dovrunk tog,
khuxalkaie-dan sonvsarbhor vanttunk
pavla konnkonim chol-ia moganuch.

Natalam disa ailo denv'n sontos
Dukh-khoddamnin bhorunk visvas vhodd,
Bhorvanxachem dan jivitant vosunk
Niraxiponnam dium-ia soddun.