Taallo Umallo with Joachim Pinto on origins of Monti Fest

Radio Sarang hosted noted writer and artist Joachim Pinto for the Tallo Umallo Konkani live phone in programme on September 6. The topic of discussion was about the origins of Monti Fest, the popular harvest festival of Catholics of coastal Karnataka.

Mr Pinto has written an article in the recent Konkani research journal ‘Amar Konkani’ in which he deals with the debate on the origins of Monti Fest. “Some believe that Monti Fest was introduced by the Portuguese in Goa. But others argue that it began in Mangalore, that it was brought here by Fr Joachim Miranda, a Goan priest who came to Mangalore as a missionary in 1763,” he said.

Mr Pinto said that the debate is inconclusive. However, it is true that the festive celebration has adapted a lot of ritualism and symbolism from the local culture. “There is lot of influence of the celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi in this festival. Ganesh Chaturthi is a harvest festival for many, and only vegetarian meal is served just like Monti Fest. Flowers are offered to Ganapathi, so also sugar cane is distributed. And both feasts come almost in the same week every year,” he said.

It has to be noted here that his article has been made into a skit by noted director Christopher Ninasam and it has gone viral on YouTube.

Many callers, including one from Dubai, interacted with Mr Pinto.