The Divar Association of Toronto celebrated the Bonderam Festival and World Goa Day 2009 on 23rd August at 3012 Arvida Circle, Mississauga.

The welcome speech was given by the president at 3.25 pm after which the program began with a solemn Mass celebrated by Rev. Fr. Robert D'Silva, who is a divarkar and is currently visiting Toronto.The presence of the statues of our Lord Redeemer, Our Lady, Infant Jesus and St. Joseph added to the solemnity of the Mass and gave the attendees an opportunity to invoke special blessings from the miraculous statue of our Lord Redeemer. In his homily Fr. D'Silva eloquently spoke on the role of goans in general and divarkars in particular and wished them happy world goa day and bonderam ( boas festas de bandeiras). Hymns in english were sung during the mass led by Nelson DeSa on the guitar and Manuel Gomes on the keyboard , and the oracao of St. Francis Xavier (in konkani) at the end was accompanied by M.Coutinho on the keyboard.

The bonderam parade began at 5 pm, after a brief interval, when boiled grams with fresh coconut (festache chonne) were distributed to the attendees.
The parade was led by Krystle Coutinho carrying the Canadian flag, followed by the flags of the 16 vaddos (wards) of Divar Island, each of which was carried by the divarkars of their particular vaddo. The flags went around four times to the accompaniment of appropriate march and masala music played by DJ Symphony arranged/selected by Richard Coutinho.

A sumptuous dinner was then served which consisted of chicken biryani, veal korma, barbecue chicken , pork sorpotel, mixed vegetables, garden salad, naan, raita and chutney.
The dessert consisted of carrot halva and mango mousse. Everyone enjoyed the delectable food presented on the buffet table.

This was followed by a dance session of cha cha chas, jazz, jive, goan massala, and also some slow music so the seniors could join the others. The session lasted for over an hour and was enjoyed by all participants. Then came the song ' Proud To Be A Goan' which was sung by the entire group of people and some danced to this catchy tune composed by the famous Basilio Magno (Pereira), to whom we are grateful for this gift to goans the world over.

The Divar Choral Group then took over to sing the mando "Gupit mog ankhvar ponailo", followed by "Kaunddea kiteac rodta deran", "yea yea mayea hea", and "Uddun guelem parveamchem birem" ending with "viva re viva". On insistence and popular demand Manuel Gomes and Maurice Coutinho continued with more traditional dekhnnis "aum saiba peltoddi vetam", "undra mojea mama", "cecelia mojem naum", "sant antonichea dongrar" and many many more which all sang most enthusiatically. The prominent singers were Nelson Desa, Beulah Desa, Clarina Coutinho, Anita Pinto, Phyl Picardo, Joe Picardo, Manuel Gomes, Zilda Vaz, Savio and Amelia Vaz. Maurice Coutinho accompanied them on the keyboard.

After a brief respite the "KATODDYEO' session began. The President demonstrated the proceedure especially to the younger members who were fascinated by this crazy coconut breaking process and eagerly joined in. Initially it began by the older members being blind folded but later was relaxed so that the coconuts could be broken easily. About 15 coconuts were smashed and all shared and enjoyed the pieces of the kernels. We can say with certitude that all thoroughly enjoyed the debut of this tradition of Divar island in Toronto.

The program ended with the president thanking all for the assistance and support enthusiastically offered by the divarkars and their well wishers.
The association appreciates the donations both financial and in kind without which this function would not have been the resounding success it proved to be.
Prominent donors are Anita Pinto, Richard and Cheryl Anne Coutinho, Terence and Luella Coutinho, Tony and Flavia Pereira, Julie Pinto, and Clarina Coutinho.
Julio and Cynthia Pereira donated the sorpotel and Lashley and Praachi Coutinho the mango mousse which were both very delectable and delicious.
The prominent members who offerred assistance were Manuel Gomes , Cynthia and Julio Pereira, Rudy and Martha Fernandes, Julie Pinto, Savio and Amelia Vaz, and others.

The program ended with all singing the final song "Adeus corcho vellu paulo" after which everybody left feeling very satisfied at the enjoyable time they had and agreeing to meet again next year.

Mogal divarkar anim goinkar bhavanum,
Aicho agostache thevisricho vodda sontossacho dis ratcheam 9 horar cabarac paulo. Hea dissa Redemtor Saibachea paeam laguim eca Divaddechea padrin, Padre Robert D' Silva,
zo heam dissanim Karachi tan Toronto assa, Missachi bhet bettoili.
Sogle divarkar, Goeam anim akea sousarant, mandta qui Redemtorachi imaj, ji divaddechea copelan assa, milagroz mun anim amchea passot ojeapam anim vizmitam corta mun.
Tea carann te taca man dita anim magnim corta. Aichea dissa tanne amchea modecot evun amcam gomoilem tajea calzan quitlo taca amcho mog assa to. Aiz tanem don milagri corun dacoileo. Poili milagru soglo dis paus poddtalo to missachea comesacuch bond quelo anim bonderamchem pursaum anim katoddeo corunc sossego dilo. Dusri milagru eca divarkarchi sirvis permanent corun taje familic sussego dilo.
Magnim amim soglim corum-ea Redemtor saibac, amcher besaum galun amcam bori saud anim bolaqui, khoxealborit jivit anim sovoskai dhi mun, hea marekar dissamchea tempar.
Atam uclun ti famad goimchi calsu, urbechea tayean munat Viva Goa, Viva Bonderam anim Viva katoddyeo.
Tumcher sogleamcher Redemtor saibachem besaum poddum mun aum aundetam.
Tumcho khalto divarkar bhau,

Maurice Coutinho
Divar Association of Toronto.