Kuwait Kannada Koota is a non-profit socio-cultural organization registered with the Indian Embassy Kuwait. It is the pioneer Kannada association in Kuwait founded in the year 1984, and now considered as one of the premier associations in Kuwait. The Koota comprises of Kannada speaking people as its members, with representation from all parts of the State of Karnataka, India.
The objectives of the Kuwait Kannada Koota have been to promote Karnataka culture in spheres of music, dance, drama and all other forms of art which help the Kannada community to retain their rich heritage and culture. In addition to maintaining our rich heritage, our goals are as follows:
- To provide a platform to Kannada speaking people living in Kuwait to exchange ideas of common interest particularly in the field of arts and culture.
- To impart and inculcate traditional values amongst our younger generation in the community and make them aware of the rich heritage of our state of Karnataka.
- To contribute to the development and harmony among the members of Kuwait Kannada Koota in particular and the Indian community living in Kuwait in general.
- To contribute by way of donations and offering help to the social organizations specialized in offering service to the poor and needy in Karnataka and also at the national level. The members of Kuwait Kannada Koota have always believed in the principle of “Live and let Live”.
It has been the sincere attempt by the members of the Koota to propagate Kannada language, culture, music, dance and drama among the Kannada speaking people living in Kuwait. It is our earnest endeavour to keep up our Karnataka cultural values and traditions even at a faraway place, Kuwait, a home away home.
An Executive Committee of President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer are elected each calendar year and responsible for the functioning of the Koota for the entire year. They in turn nominate members to various sub-committees, namely, Cultural Committee, Sports Committee, Marala Mallige & Web Committee & Public Relations Committee to conduct the events of that year.
All members are designated to four houses, namely, Cauvery, Hemavathi, Netravathi & Sharavathi, to foster team work and a sense of community feeling in them.
Kuwait Kannada Koota has been following a calendar set of events as mentioned below:
Dasa Jayanthi: A musical event organized in mid February to commemorate the birth anniversary of great poet Sri.Purandara Dasa and other dasas originating from Karnataka. Koota’s children and members present their singing talents as well as their faith towards Almighty.
Outdoor Picnic: A sports orientated day is organized in the third week of March. Many games and athletic events are organized for the children and adult members of the Koota.
Indoor Games/ Picnic: Inter-house cricket tournament: A popular event organized for the members of the Koota. Games like carom, chess and scrabble are organized for the members.
Rajyotsava Day: Our main event is held in November, to commemorate the formation of the state of Karnataka. The talent of our children and as well as elders are displayed on stage to the dignitaries, sponsors, guests & members. The program includes songs, dances, group songs, ladies dance and dramas, all in Kannada & directed by the members which has been the ‘hall mark’ of KKK.
Annual General Body / Christmas / New Year Celebration: On this day a new Executive committee for the forthcoming year is elected.
In the early eighties, a few like-minded Kannada speaking families used to meet regularly during the week-end, on an auspicious occasion, during a festival, exchange pleasantries and feel at home because of the love for speaking in our mother tongue Kannada. These meetings used to bring nostalgic memories of our cultural heritage of Karnataka. It was because of this desire to provide a platform to exhibit the artistic talents, showcase the rich heritage of our mother state Karnataka and the untiring selfless efforts of some of our dedicated Pioneers, Kuwait Kannada Koota was born in the year 1984.
The Founder members of the koota were Dr.Taraknath, Mr.T.S.Gururaj, Mr.B.R.V. Murthy, Mr.K.S.Ramachandra, Mr.Nagaraj Rao, Mr.N.D.Vasuki, Mr.K.N.S.Murthy, Mr.Gopinath Rao, Mr.M.N.Rai, Mr.M.C.Krishna, Mr. M.S.Padaki, Late B.R.Krishna Prasad & Mr.G.R.Prasanna. It was in October 1984, when a major calamity struck the country in the form of assassination of the then Prime Minister of India, Smt.Indira Gandhi, people started expressing their grief through various mediums including “condolence message” in India and abroad. Kuwait was no exception. It was Mr.B.R.V.Murthy, who observed in Kuwait Newspapers, ‘Kuwait Times’ and ‘Arab Times’ that many of the Associations formed by different linguists and other walks of life expressing their grief. What struck Mr.B.R.V.Murthy at that point of time that except for “Kannada People” living in Kuwait, practically all others had issued paper insertions. This prompted him to share his feelings at one of the usual assemblies with Dr.Tarakanath and Mr.T.S. Gururaj. It was suggested that as Kannadigas, we should not lag behind and it was decided to draft a message in “Kannada”which was published in Kuwait Times. There were telephone numbers mentioned at the bottom of the message that any one interested in forming a ‘Kannada Association’, can be contacted on those mentioned telephone numbers. And the rest, as said is history, Kuwait Kannada Koota came into existence formally in the year 1984. Dr.Taraknath, a well known personality who was already living in Kuwait for quite sometime was the automatic choice for becoming the Founder-President of Kuwait Kannada Koota.
Having formed the Association, the next step was to design a logo for the Koota. Members were asked to design a logo in a competition. The logo designed by Mr.Gopinath Rao having “Mallige” flowers in the desert with “Date” tree and Kuwait Towers as the background was selected. That’s how the koota originated. The launch of the in-house kannada magazine “Marala Mallige” (Jasmine of the desert) in the year 1986 was another mile-stone in our efforts. Marala Mallige really became an instrument to kindle and enhance our community’s love for Kannada. Members enthusiastically started writing articles on a variety of subjects relating to literature, art, our heritage, poetry and spirituality in kannada which itself is an expression of our members love and devotion to the cause of spreading kannada culture.
From a humble beginning in 1984, with only a few families, today, after 26years, the KKK has grown into a large and one of the most respected premier Kannada cultural associations in Kuwait. Our main event of the year ‘Kannada Rajyotsava’ used to be funded by members of the Koota till the year 1993. It is nice to see that Rajyotsava celebrations have become mega events with improvisation every year. We should also thank to all the sponsors who have been supporting our activities since 1994. The Koota supports various charitable organization in Karnataka offering service to the poor and needy-Prime Minister’s Relief fund, Gujarat Earthquake Relief and also in repatriation of stranded Indian workers back to India, to name a few.
The enthusiasm, unity and oneness our members have shown in furthering the cause of Kannada culture and literature over these 26 years has become a model for many other associations in Kuwait.
Memorable moments and nostalgic memories of KKK’s journey from 1984:
- The maiden Rajyotsava celebrations in 1984 saw the staging of a popular Kannada skit ‘Aliya Devaru’ enacted by our own members which was well received by members and guests.
- Starting of our in-house magazine ‘Marala Mallige’ in 1986.
- Teaching..reading and writing of Kannada to our children by elder members started in 1986.
- Taking part in Inter-Association drama competition in the year 1990. The competition was held at the then Indian Arts circle, Funaitees, Kuwait. KKK enacted the play “Andu, Indu, Mundu”. KKK won the second prize.
- 1994, The First ‘Rajyotsava Souvenir’ was released to finance our Rajyotsava activities.
- 1996, the first KKK members telephone directory with photographs and contact details in India was published. A colorful presentation of ‘Karnataka Darshana’ on the Rajyotsava day, depicting several cultural art forms from different parts of Karnataka. The charity donations to the needy organizations in Karnataka starts.
- 1997, first KKK’s website posted. Mr.B.K.S.Verma, invited artist from Karnataka presents show to KKK members and guests in Kuwait. Mr.C.M.Ibrahim, the then civil aviation minister attends our Kannada Rajyotsava function. Dr. P.L.N.Rao, Dean of Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore and Dr.B.M.Hegde, a very eloquent orator were felicitated during their visit to Kuwait. A memorable ‘Desert Picnic’ pitching up tents and members staying overnight in the tents. KKK cricket team wins the ‘Championship trophy’ in the inter association cricket tournament. KKK constitution was drafted. For the first time, KKK directory was launched.
- 1998, Dasas including Kanaka Dasa, Vijaya Dasa and others, apart from Purandara Dasa were introduced for the first time in Dasotsava.
- 1999, a spectacular full yakshagana dance drama famous in the coastal Karnataka was presented by our members. The preparations for this dance drama started in the year 1998.
- 2000, ‘Jeevana Chakra’ a play showing the life cycle of a girl to a woman was well enacted by Koota members.
- 2001, KKK launches the official website www.kuwaitkannadakoota.org. KKK directory was revamped.
- 2002, a very colorful ‘Karnataka Vaibhava’ was presented by Koota members.
- 2003, colorful and memorable “Nammoora Jaathre” was presented which was participated by more than 70 members. Magic Show by Junior Shankar from Karnataka was presented to the members.
- 2004, ‘Dasa Jayanthi’ was performed in true ‘Unchvritti’ style. More than 70 members’ children, men and women were on the stage and sang over 45 ‘Dasara Keerthanegalu’. KKK organized for the first time a cricket tournament which was well received by other cricket organizing committees. A total of 8 cricket teams participated in the tournament. The telephone directory, of the members, was revamped. A colorful fashion parade involving children and elders of the Koota was organized which was well appreciated by the members.
- 2005, members remembered ‘ANNAVARU” Dr.Raj Suvarna Sambhrama. Also presented ‘Karnataka Rathnagalu’ by show casing great personalities of Karnataka from different fields. A picnic to Failaka Islands was organized.
- 2006, ‘Suvarna Mahotsava of Karnataka’ was celebrated marking the 50 years of formation of our mother state Karnataka. Celebrations started with community reach programs. KKK organized Interschool competitions in quizzing, folk dance and patriotic song competitions. A quiz master Mr.Prakash Subba Rao was invited from Karnataka state to conduct quiz competition. For the program based on kannada kavya, the chief guest for the Rajyotsava celebrations was the famous Kannada poet of Nityotsava fame Nadoji Prof. Nissar Ahmed who gave a motivating speech to Kannadigas of Kuwait to remember their great heritage and history. Also as a part of Suvarna Mahotsava celebrations popular singers from Karnataka Mrs.Ratnamala Prakash, Mr.Muddukrishna, Mr.Kikkeri Krishnamurthy and Mr.Chinmay were invited who sang classical Kannada Bhavageethes. KKK directory was revamped.
- 2007, KKK reached its Pinnacle by conducting ‘Vishwa Kannada Samskriti Sammelana’. Eminent personalities from different fields were invited. Prof.Dr. G.S.Shiva Rudrappa was invited as the chief guest to preside over the Sammelana. Eminent drama and film personality Mr.C.R.Simha was the guest of Honor. Dr. B.R.Shetty, an eminent Industrialist from the Gulf Region, Dr.Ashok Pai from Karnataka and Mr.Mahesh Joshi, Director, Doordarshan were the Guests of Honor at our Vishwa Kannada Sammelana. Also a very popular personality who is known for her service to humanity Smt.Sudha Murthy was invited who spoke on “Philanthropy in the Corporate World” to the diverse audience.
- 2008, members presented a beautiful ‘Vishwa Karnataka Darshan’, a cultural journey. As per the changing times KKK constitution was rephrased, amended and approved at the AGM. KKK directory was revamped.
- 2009, Silver Jubilee year of KKK. Prof. Hiregowdar, an eminent artist and ex Principal of Davanagere Art College was invited who gave a practical demonstration of the art. A very popular Ballet group ‘Prabahat Kalavidaru’ was invited from Karnataka who presented a very colorful ballet dance. A silver Jubilee logo was also unveiled. Printed quarterly editions of Marala Mallige were released.
- 2010, a memorable and colorful fashion parade was presented by members, including children of the Koota. A food bazaar was organized for the first time, where members prepared delicious food. For the first time ‘Marala Mallige’ in-house magazine was published on a monthly basis. Five printed editions were released. As a part of Rajyotsava celebrations, to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the coronation of Emperor Krishna Deva Raya, members presented the spectacular ‘Vijayanagara Vybhava’, a tribute to King Krishna Devaraya under whose rule witnessed the Golden era of our state. Popular magicians Mr.Uday Jadugar and Mr.Arun Kumar Dutta were invited to present a magic show enjoyed by children and as well as adult members of the Koota. For the first time a ‘DAY and NIGHT’ inter house cricket match was organized. Smt.M.D.Pallavi, a popular classical singer was invited along with her troupe to render popular Kannada Bhavageethe. A desktop calendar in Engish & Kannada, featuring the winners of children’s drawing competition conducted by the Koota during the Indoor Picnic, was released during the AGM. KKK directory was revamped.
- 2011, Daasotsava, was the first program of new EC. KOOTA members were virtually transported to Pandarapura by recreating the exact replica of Vithala Rukmini statues along with Sanctum Sanctorium (Garbha Gudi) of Pandarapura temple. Colorful Fancy dress competition based on religious theme was presented by tiny tots with their parents. History of Dasas was beautifully presented to the audience in the form of skit where KKK kids enacted Dasas and Yativaryas followed by a skit based on “Vittala Mahime “ which was a highlight of this event. Delicious and authentic Bale Yale oota was relished by members in traditional style.Colorful fun filled outdoor sports day was organized at Sharq Garden where the families of Koota members enjoyed outdoor activities thoroughly. For the first time a Mascot was introduced.Jaanara Jaatre a programme organized to bring out various talents of members and their children was a great success and well attended and appreciated.The prestigious event “Rajyotsava” was celebrated with pomp and gaiety. Renowned film director Padma Shri Girish Kasarvalli and Mr. I.M. Vittala Murthy former Secretary Kannada and Culture, were the guests of honor on this occasion. LED screen was installed for the first time as background to bring life to “Navarasas” dance and drama performed by members of all ages. The star attraction of the evening was the Dance drama (Nritya roopaka) “Samrat Ashok” which depicted all the nine themes of life (Navarasas). Guest artists from Karnataka professionally trained Koota children who performed exceptionally.The first ever inter Indian school cultural program “KKK talent show 2011” was organized by Kannada Koota.Inter house Cricket competition was conducted during December 2011.AGM was held and Annual Accounts were presented and unanimously accepted by the Koota members. The outgoing EC thanked all the members for the support extended. New office bearers were elected to continue Koota legacy for the next year.
- 2012, KKK was organised Radha Kalyana (Marriage of Radha and Krishna) as part of Dasa Jayanti. First ever organised the “Dasa Kirtanas” Musical concert by singer Shankar Shanbhague, Supported by T Ranga Pai on Tabala and Narendra Nayak on Harmonium. First Badminton Tournament was organised for the Koota Members, around 36 teams were participated in the tournament. Nadahabba/Dasara was celebrated, Dance by Koota members and Dhandiya contest was the main attraction of the event. KKK Remembered the Dr Raj again, Rajyothsava celeberated by theme “Dr Raj Vaibhava” Koota members and Kids done the dance/ play for the melodious songs of Dr Raj Movies. Mr N.R. Narayana Murthy was the Chief Guest for the evening. Guest Lecture on topic “Enrepreneurship, Corporate and social responsibilities” was organised as part of the Rajyothsava Celeberation. Mr N.R. Narayana murthy delivered the lecture on above said topic and Interacted with the Audience. Musical Night and Sitar Concert was organised to celebrate new year. The Sitarist Anush N Nayak, the singers Mr. Ravindra Prabhu, smt, Kalavati Dayanand and Ms. Ritisha Padmanabh entertain the Koota members by sung melodious songs.