A festival for youth



Started in the year 1996 by like-minded youth under the Konkani Bhasha Mandal (KBM), the main aim of Goa Yuva Mahotsav (GYM) is to pass on the rich culture and tradition of Goa to youth. First held in Margao for five years, over the years it has travelled to different talukas in Goa. This year however it is all set to return to Margao and will be held at Ravindra Bhavan, Margao from January 17 till January 19.

Working president, KBM, Vallabh Barve says that on an average over 3500 youth participate in the 17 competitions and witnesses an audience of around 10000 people. This year, 39 groups have registered so far. “Earlier the organisers went to every college to give the competition brochures. Today all the entries are accepted online and data processing is done through special software designed for the festival,” he says. Apart from educational institutes, cultural groups, especially from rural Goa participate on the same competitive platform. Some competitions are for colleges, some for groups, and some common for both. The winner is chosen from among all based on the points tally.

President, KBM, Chetan Acharya says that the competition is not aimed towards winning but building leadership for the future. “Yuva Mahotsav has seen several agitations finding a voice. The voice of Mhadei first reverberated in the seventh Goa Yuva Mahotsav and it again found voice in the 21st Goa Yuva Mahotsav held in Panaji. The various movements like Regional Plan and Special Economic Zones (SEZ) were deliberated upon in this youth festival. The Medium of Instruction (MOI) agitation also saw the same youth force of Yuva Mahotsav taking the streets,” he says, adding that the competitions in fact are designed in a way they encompass all these issues while also showcasing the talent of the youth.

These competitions include folk dance, pop dance, drama, painting, street theatre, quiz, etc. Acharya says: “Some of the unique competitions that have not changed over the years is Mustayaki ie, the final competition on the lines of Mr and Miss Festival. The participating couples have to dress traditionally and the judgment is based on several rounds of question and performance. A special quiz based totally on Goa is another competition that has continued since it began in the first year.

The folk dance and street play and two other competitions have also remained the Recently a film-shooting competition was introduced where participants submit short films. Another recently introduced competition is ‘Naman’ which is a competition that depicts Shigmo-type processions on various topics. This year KBM has introduced competitions such as T-shirt painting.

Being in its silver jubilee year, this time around KBM has organised two special programmes titled as ‘Yuva Nakhetra’, which will see past participants of the Mahotsav unleash their talents onstage. The programme will be held on January 17 and January 18, 6:30 p.m. onwards in the specially installed pandal in the Ravindra Bhavan, Margao complex. On January 17 there will be dance performances by Goan dancers and troops that includes Siddhant Gadekar, Ashwini Franco, D-Malice Dance group, Pooja and Aparna Dance Academy, Step on Dance crew, Prerna Palekar, Megha Rane, Suvidha Naik, Shruti Bhonsle, Vruksha Karmali, Sushmita Pednekar, Vaishnavi Kakode, Akhil Sawant and Vidhya Dhaimodkar.

Theatre artistes like Saurabh Karkhanis, Sohan Sanvordekar, Bhavesh Jambaulikar, Chetan Borkar, Pradip Kakodkar, Amey Prabhudesai, Kalanand Bambolkar, Damodarraj Bambolkar, Khushboo Kawlekar, Swapnil Tari, Naguesh Kamat and Sarvesh Rege will also perform at the event.

On January 18, there will be vocal performances by Goan singers that include Purnanand Chari, Sonia Shirsat, Saiesh Panandikar, Shirish Lawande, Bindiya Vast, Siddharth Yaji, Gautami Hede Bambolkar, Akshay Naik, Cielda Pereira, Gayatri Patil, Aakash Telgu, Laxman Naik, Sandesh Naik, Pravan Hede, Pankaj Namshikar, Shubham Naik, Anirudh Chimulkar, Vaibhav Kamat, Prathamesh Mahajan and Balkrishna Hodarkar.

Apart from this, the past working presidents and chief coordinators of all the previous Mahotsavs will be recognised.

While the competitions are open for registered groups only, the festival is open for all.