Thomas Stephens Konknni Kendr

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Thomas Stephens Konknni Kendr
India Goa TSKK.jpg
TSKK campus at Alto Porvorim
Abbreviation TSKK
Formation 1982
Type NGO
Purpose Promoting the Konkani language.
Headquarters Alto Porvorim, Bardez, Goa.
  • Alto Porvorim, Bardez, Goa.
Region served
Goa and rest of the Konkani speaking areas in coastal western India.
Pratap Naik

Thomas Stephens Konknni Kendr (TSKK) is a Jesuit research-institute working on issues related to the Konkani language, literature, culture and education. It is based in Alto Porvorim, on the outskirts of the state capital of Goa, India.

Society of Jesus male religious congregation of the Catholic Church

The Society of Jesus is a scholarly religious congregation of the Catholic Church which originated in sixteenth-century Spain. The members are called Jesuits. The society is engaged in evangelization and apostolic ministry in 112 nations. Jesuits work in education, intellectual research, and cultural pursuits. Jesuits also give retreats, minister in hospitals and parishes, sponsor direct social ministries, and promote ecumenical dialogue.

Konkani language Indo-Aryan language spoken in India

Konkani is an Indo-Aryan language belonging to the Indo-European family of languages and is spoken by Konkani people along the western coast of India. It is one of the 22 scheduled languages mentioned in the 8th schedule of the Indian Constitution and the official language of the Indian state of Goa. The first Konkani inscription is dated 1187 A.D. It is a minority language in Karnataka, Maharashtra and Kerala, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and Daman and Diu.

Porvorim Town in Goa, India

Porvorim, कोंकणी: पर्वरी, also known as Purvari, is the legislative capital of the state of Goa, India. It is situated on the right bank of the Mandovi River. The administrative capital Panaji is located on the opposite bank. Considered as a suburb of Panaji, Porvorim is considered an upmarket residential hub as it lies on the prime Mumbai–Goa highway NH17.



The TSKK says it "is devoted to the promotion of education and research in the Konknni language, literature and culture". It was registered under the Societies Registration Act in 1982 and first functioned from 1986 at the locality of Miramar, before its current premises was built. It is located alongside the also Jesuit Xavier Centre of Historical Research.

Xavier Centre of Historical Research organization

The Xavier Centre of Historical Research is a Jesuit history research centre located in Alto Porvorim, Goa in India. It was founded in the late 1970s and its first director was Teotonio R. de Souza (1979–1994). Charles Borges, who had served as Administrator and Associate Director, took over the direction of XCHR until the year 2000, when he left for Maryland College in Baltimore as its faculty staff. He was succeeded by Delio Mendonca, SJ and the current director is Savio Abreu, SJ. It is a prominent institution in Asia for its focus on Indo-Portuguese issues, and besides organising seminars and talks, it also publishes a number of books related to the Portuguese in India and Asia, Goa, the Jesuits and other historical themes. It has set up an art gallery.

Current status, and name

TSKK is a Society registered under the Indian Societies Registration Act of 1860. From June 1999, it has been recognized by the Goa University as a Konknni research institute.

Goa University

Goa University was established under the Goa University Act of 1984 and commenced operations on 1 June 1985. The university provides higher education in the Indian state of Goa.

This institution gets its name from the sixteenth-century English Jesuit priest, Thomas Stephens (1549–1619), a linguist and Marathi poet. Stephens came to Goa, then a Portuguese colony, on 24 October 1579. According to the institution, Stephens learned the Konknni and Marathi languages and wrote in them. He produced the first grammar to be produced in an Indian language, in Konknni printed in 1622. Stephens died in Goa in 1619.

Research bulletin

TSKK's Sod research bulletin India Goa TSKKBulletin.jpg
TSKK's Sod research bulletin

One of the activities of the TSKK is the publication of a research bulletin called Sod. This journal is edited, produced and published as part of TSKK's "research efforts ... devoted to the promotion of education and research in (the) Konknni language, literature and culture". Its articles are a mix of Konknni written in Devanagari-script, the Roman (Romi) script, and occasionally in English too.

Romi Konkani or Konkani in the Roman script refers to the writing of the Konkani language in the Roman script, While Konkani is written in five different scripts altogether, Romi Konkani is widely used. Romi Konkani is known to be the oldest preserved and protected literary tradition beginning from the 16th century.

Issue No 10 April 2006 contains the following articles:

Generally Sod issues are priced at Rs 50 each (in Goa).

Courses in Konkani, etc

TSKK also offers courses in the Konknni language, and on project methodology for researchers, and study methodology for students. Currently (September 2006), the TSKK is working on language-teaching books for adults and children to learn Konkani (in the Romi or Roman script).

Management and location

Pratap Naik, sj, director of TSKK India Goa TSKK PratapNaik.jpg
Pratap Naik, sj, director of TSKK

Earlier, this institute was headed by Fr Mathew Almeida, sj who has been succeeded by Fr Pratap Naik sj.

Thomas Stephens Konknni Kendr is located at B.B.Borkar Road, Alto Porvorim, Goa (India) 403 521.


TSKK has come out with a number of publications in the Konknni language, or in languages like English introducing themes related to Konknni, which is India's smallest language, spoken mainly along the west coast of this country.

Some of its publication include a 1988 guide to writing Devanagari script Konknni (20 pp, then priced at Rs 3, now out of print), A Description of Konknni by Matthew Almeida, sj (1989), Teacher's and Parent's Manual (1996, pp 150)by Pratap Naik,S.J., TSKK Konknni Basic Course (Matthew Almeida, SJ, 1991), Tisvaddeacheo Igorzo (Moreno de Souza, SJ, 1994, on the churches of the sub-district of Tiswadi in Goa), TSKK Romi Lipi (TSKK's orthography for Roman-script Konknni by Pratap Naik, SJ 2005 pp 52).

In addition it has also brought out five cassettes and CDs, of Konknni music containing devotional songs and nursery rhymes and children's songs.

TSKK's plant collection

TSKK's botanical garden India Goa TSKKgarden.jpg
TSKK's botanical garden

Jesuit priest Pratap Naik sj, director of the TSKK currently, has been building a collection of over 328 trees and plants, all in the yard of a research institution studying the local Konknni language. Naik argues that the culture of a place is reflected "not only" in its language, but also in its flora—apart from its fauna, architecture, food habits and dress.

He has been quoted saying that he wants to grow one of every fruit-bearing tree that grows in Goa which is rich in plant diversity. This richness is thanks in significant part to plant exchanges by the former rulers who centuries back controlled international seaways and had an empire straddling the continents.

Many months of hard work has seen Naik piece together a well-maintained and neatly labelled botanical garden. Visible are the local names in Konknni, the botanical names, their English names. Elsewhere, he keeps a list of the original native countries of these Goa-adopted plants.

Among the collection are the ainno madd (the Fan Palm in English, or Livistona rotundifolia as it's known by its botanical name). It comes from tropical America. There's the ambaddo, dismissively perhaps called the hog-plum that traces its origins to India itself. The ambor (mulberry, or Morus alba) has Chinese origins. Kalljirem (black cumin, Nigella sativa) is again of Indian origin.

Kiraitem (canscora in English, or Canscora decussata) is from India, but the zaifoll (nutmeg, Mystica fragans) comes from the Moluccas, the so-called Spice Islands of past centuries, in the Far East. Gozgo (the fever nut or Caesalpinia bonduc) is, again, of Indian origin.

Naik says he has already found the names of 325 species from among the 329 he planted. "Some don't have names in Konknni (the local language)," he is quoted as saying, obviously because of their exotic origins.

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