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Kupari ( meaning God Father to one's child Word derived from Kumpari and feminine being Kumari or Portuguese Comadre) are a sub group of East Indian community. This community is concentrated mostly in Basseinmarker ( ), Indiamarker, which is about north of Mumbaimarker. Kupari Ancestors were Mixture of Samvedic Brahmins, Goans and Portuguese because of inter marriages between them. The population is about 40,000 to 45,000. The language spoken by the Kupari community is called Kadodi, which is a mixed dialect of Marathi, Konkani, and with very few words derived from Portuguese. 97% of this population is Roman Catholic, and the remaining minority is a mixed population of various Christian Protestant sects. Education along with religion and missionary works has helped upliftment of the Kupari society. They have 100% literacy rate.

The Kupari community came into existence during the Portuguese rule of Vasai in 15th century when most of the Samvedic Brahmans embraced Christianity as their possessions were confiscated and they were ostracized by orthodox Brahmans. During 16th century some GOANS came from Goa to BACAIM (vasai) on Portuguese ships because of the Portuguese-Bijapur wars in Goa, they married Kupari community from BACAIM ( Vasai ). Most Kupari ancestors are mixture of samvedic Brahmans, Goans and Portuguese due to these Kupari language ( Kadodi ) is a mixed dialect of marathi, konkani and Portuguese. Till the late 1960s and early 1970s the population was highly dependent on farming.The Kupari community is mostly concentrated around these parishes in northern Vasai:

  • Nirmal
  • Agashi
  • Nandakhal
  • Gass
  • Bhuigaon
  • Umraala
  • Naanbhat
  • Shrilaiwadi
  • Bolinj
  • Mardes
  • Wagholi
  • Gomes Ali
  • Rajodi


Costume

The traditional costume of the Kupari consists of a dhoti, white shirt, black sleeveless jacket kabja and a red cap with earring vali pierced in the left ear for men, and a red blouse soli with red checkered kashta (a type of sari) for women.

Traditions

  • Baltim (Baptism)
  • Komsar (Confession)
  • Cominyao (First Holy Communion)
  • Hamdao (Associated with marriage)
  • Lagin (Wedding)
  • Saudio (Celebration next to wedding day)


Recipes

  • Variety of fish gravies (specially Bombil)
  • Indel (specially prepared meat/fish to last for certain days) anglicized vidialo
  • Vade/talnayo rotyo (fried item made from mixture of flours)
  • Dhapti (steamed item made from mixture of flours and vegetables)
  • Hingoli (traditional specialty)
  • Fogey (Portuguese spherical bread)
  • Dodal ( Portuguese Sweet)
  • Fuddi ( Portuguese feijoada (typical dish made with pork))
  • Sanna (Rice Bread)
  • Karji (traditional specialty)
  • Laadu(local spherical sweet)


Festivals

Adresao

Kuparis today

Kuparis have been well educated for generations. They are hardworking, which aids their ventures in a variety of sectors. In recent years Kuparis have shown transition towards various sectors, including engineering, medicine, and corporate enterprises. A considerable amount of the Kupari population has relocated to the North America, Europe, Middle East and Australia.

Population and Distribution

This community is concentrated mostly in Basseinmarker ( ), Indiamarker, which is about north of Mumbaimarker. The population is about 40,000 to 45,000. Rough estimate of this population around North America is around 300 and around Middle East is of about 150.

Ethnicity

Most of the kuparis have their ancestry through samvedic brahmin community while some trace few relations in neighbouring vadvalite community as well as goan community due to inter communal marriages. Minor traces of Portuguese ancestry in this community cannot be denied due to Portuguese intercommunal marriages during Portuguese rule as in case of St. Gonsalo Garcia.

History

On 23 December 1534, the Sultan of Gujarat, signed a treaty with the Portuguese and ceded Bassein with its dependencies of Salsette, Mombaim (Bombay), Parel, Vadala, Shiv (Sion), Vorli (Worli), Mazagao (Mazgao), Thane, Vandre(Bandra), Mahim, Caranja.In 1548, St. Francisco Xavier stopped in Bassein to preach. This marked the advent of Christianity into Bassein. Bread Buns, (locally as called pav) played an key role in conversions. (East Indians are locally known as 'Pavwale' due to the use of Pav in Conversions.) Bread being fermented food was considered unholy by local Hindus then. Missionaries with motive of conversions added Pav to the drinking water sources like well thus making it unusable for Hindus.Unaware Hindus, tricked into drinking water from these wells were excommunicated by orthodox Brahmin community and declared as untouchables. These outcast Hindu were then converted by Christian missionaries [roman catholic] with promises of land, other monitory benefit, better status, etc. The churches distributed the seized land amongst east Indians. Along with new names and dress codes the new converts were also endowed with political upperhand during portugal rule. The legacy of conversion is still continued by different missionaries. Today these missionaries also run Schools and hospitals benefiting both christian and non-christian. Despite initial hostility the converts and Hindus are happily sharing their neighbourhood.During this period Portuguese built 3 churches in present day northern bassein for these converts: Nirmal (1557), Agashi (1568), Nandakhal (1573). All these churches are still used by the Christian community of Vasai.

Religious Practices

Paya bharni

This is the ceremony that is conducted when the foundation stone for a house has been laid. Ceremony begins with the burial of some jewellery into the earth and breaking of a coconut the priest then makes some prayers and blesses its construction. This ceremony has its roots in the Hindu tradition of bhoomi pujan.

Bejimat

Bejimat is the ceremony conducted during the inauguration of a new home. During this ceremony a priest is invited to a home who then prays before the people sprinkles holy water throughout the home and blesses it.

Yentar

This ceremony is conducted when final funeral rites are given to a person. This is conducted in a church followed by prayers and burial at a cemetery.

Saatvoh

This ceremony is conducted on the seventh day of a funeral. During this the affected family dedicates a mass for the dead this is followed by a dining service at the family's place which usually includes meat and alcohol to mark the passing of sorrow.

Upas

This is the fast carried out during the lent season of 40 days.

As respect to their Hindu roots they abstain from beef consumption

Religious Services

The religious services of the kupari community confirm with the seven sacraments of the Roman Catholic faith. Some of them can be seen below.

Baltim (Baptism)

A new born infant is taken to the church and blessed by holy water in presense of his/her parents, relatives, even godmother and godfather .... hence he will be called by a name decide by his/her parents. its almost like a name ceremony.

Komsar (Confession)

Cominyao (First Holy Communion)

Chrisma(Confirmation)

Varad[Lagin](Wedding)

Yentar(Final Funeral rites)

Family Life

Lifestyle and Culture

Olden Days

Language

  • kadodi(somewhat like marathi)


Clothing

Traditions

Ayaez

Ayaez means ornaments owned by a married women gifted to her by in-laws on a day before marriage ceremony also the ornaments gifted by her parents on the wedding day

Hamdao

Before the marriage the in-laws of the bride send garlands[aboli,gulshedi,shevanti mali/venyo-in kadodi language]and sweets[laadoo,karji,mesoor,khaja,hingolyo-in kadodi language]to the bride and she distributes it to her relatives and to her neighbours[aali(small section in the village)]

Saudio

The day after the WEDDING DAY-On this day at the groom's house the relatives who gather there play pranks and take money from the newly married couple [also known as postao in kadodi language]on this day mostly in the evening the bride's relatives dress in old traditional dresses and go to the groom's house singing and dancing with music played on musical instrument known as "GHUMAT"[a drum made from earthern pot which has openings on both the sides one opening is tied with lether]when the bride's relatives reach the groom's house,his relatives play pranks on them like puting spices in the sherbat which is being served to them after all the fun the bride's relatives take newly married coupe[JODPA]to the bride's place for one day

Education

Today Kuparis are 100% literate. Most of the kuparies are working in multinational companies as high post. This all credit goes to churches. Earlier prist were most in favour of education. They started the schools in Vasai. Most of the schools are popular in area.

Relations with outside world

Portrayal in popular entertainment

See also



www.onevasai.com
  1. http://www.proz.com/kudoz/812894
  2. comadre/compadre - WordReference Forums
  3. kumpari
  4. Vasai fort
  5. Diocese of Vasai
  6. http://kuparicommunity.org/page2.html
  7. Images of traditional costume
  8. Vasai fort
www.onevasai.com

External links




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