Are you a Konkani?
If you are staying or travelling abroad, it is most likely that you have come across this question at least once: “Are you Hindi?”
Probably they mean to ask “Are you an Indian?” or “Are you a Hindu?” or “Do you speak Hindi?”
Yes, some languages denote nationality too – like The French or The German. But not Hindi.
I have come across this question many times in my life: “Are you a Konkani?”
Alas, most of the time, the intention behind the question is identification or generalization.
Konkani is a language. It, in fact, is one among 17 languages are present in an Indian Currency note.
Konkani is my mother tongue.
But, no, you cannot generalize people who speak a language. There is a huge mistake in generalization.
For, infamous people like Dawood Ibrahim, Zakir Naik and Vijay Mallya are Konkanis.
Yes, Indian film personalities like Late Guru Dutt (Vasanth Kumar Shivashankar Padukone), Deepika Padukone, Ganelia D’Souza, Amrita Rao, Urmila Matondkar, Illeana D’Cruz, Girish Karnad, Shyam Benegal, Anant Nag are Konkanis. Or Politicians like Late Abdul Rehman Antulay, Suresh Prabhu, Manohar Parrikar, Late George Fernades or journalists like Fareed Zakaria, Rajdeep Sardesai and M.V. Kamath are Konakanis. Or singers like Lata Mangeshkar or activists like Medha Patkar. In sports, you can find famous Konkanis like Sachin Tendulkar, Prakash Padukone, Sunil Gavaskar, Dilip Vengsarkar, Sanjay Manjrekar.
A significant number of Konkani speakers are found in Kenya, Uganda, Pakistan, the Persian Gulf, and Portugal.
Obviously you cannot generalize any individual based on language, caste, creed, religion and even nationality.
How many of you know that Konkani is one of the oldest languages in Asia which dates back to pre-classical Sanskrit?
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