From Academic Kids

Konkani is a term used to refer both to a language and to an Indian ethnic group. The word derives from "kum", meaning 'Mother Earth' and "Kana", meaning 'dust' or 'atom'. The Konkani within the Indian state of Goa have been principally a farming community through most of their history, though now moving increasingly towards tourism. The Konkani people in other states are mainly a business community.

The Konkani people trace their history as far back as 4000 BCE; their current centre is in Goa and are thought to have settled there around the 11th century CE. Outside of Goa, Konkani people are also settled along the Konkan coast with concentrated population in Mangalore, south coastal Maharashtra, north coastal Kerala and northern Karnataka.

Some, though not all, Konkani Hindu brahmins are known to eat fish, a food that is generally forbidden for this caste (brahmins are generally vegetarian). There are also populations of Konkani Catholics, converted by the Portuguese starting from the 16th century.

Descendants of Konkan Muslims can be found in South Africa [1] (http://www.goacom.com/goatoday/98/mar/keni.html).

Konkani Language

Konkani is an Indo-Aryan language. It started as a vernacular of Sanskrit, with inevitable corruption of the words. It has been relatively free of influence of any other language except a little of Portuguese (in the last 3-4 centuries) and some Kannada (during the Kadamba period of 12-14th centuries). So, its much closer to Sanskrit than Marathi (Marathi has been transformed from old Prakrit with a significant influence of Farsi (Persian)), during the Muslim era.

The Konkani language is spoken widely in the Konkan region consisting of Goa, south coastal Maharashtra, coastal Karnataka and Kerala, each region having a unique dialect and pronunciation style. It is said that the language was spread to these areas by the Goans who fled the Portuguese inquisition of Goa during the early years of Portuguese rule. To this day the temple of the Kula Deva (Family Diety) of most Konkani people living outside Goa, can be found within Goa. Some of these temples were destroyed by the Portuguese and later rebuilt again by the Konkani people (at times in a different location within Goa). The konkani text is written both in traditional Devanagari and Roman script, which originated during the Portuguese rule. The Kannada script is used in Mangalore, and other coastal regions of Karnataka.

The Konkani language had been in danger of dying out — the progressive Westernisation of the Indian subcontinent (including the strong Portuguese influence in Goa from the 16th century) has resulted in English being widely spoken among Catholics, while local influence has led to Marathi being widely adopted by Konkani Hindus living in coastal Maharashtra. This trend was arrested in 1985 by a strong Konkani movement in Goa that had broad support from both religious groups. Konkani is now widely spoken in Goa, and is the official state language. It has since been given official language status in the Indian Constitution.

The first known book in Konkani was written in 1651 by Friar Thomas Steven, titled Doctrina Christi (the Doctrines of Christ). It is presumed that the Portuguese destroyed all prior Konkani texts in the 16th century.

External links

fr:konkn hi:कोंकणी pt:Konkani


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