Sun, beaches, choris pao, parties and a susegad atmosphere.... Goa has more to offer than just that. If you're in Goa between the 7th and 11th of January this year, stop by the Saligao Football Ground, opposite the Mae de Deus Church for some true Goan culture. The 2nd Annual Heritage festival, organized by the Department of Tourism and Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC), celebrates Goa's arts, culture and history through a five-day festival.
Browse through the special gallery exhibiting photographs of ancient Goan heritage, the great Goans in History, their traditional way of life, and historic Goan moments. There will also be a section of heritage items used earlier by Goans. Tamara DeSouza a banker from Goa, who was at the festival on Tuesday, tries to capture the festival for me, “You enter through a fort, a typical feature of Goa. Further in, there are two displays–cars that once ran through Goa in the 60s and 70s and traditional pots, pans and cooking utensils. But what was interesting was a little section on coins and currency dating back to the Portuguese era”. While panels display old Goan buildings and architecture such as the post-office, a special segment on Saligao village highlights the history of the church, the historic temple of Goddess Sharvani, the history of the village and its heritage houses.
Goan artisans and craftsmen displaying their skills and crafts with live demonstrations; stalls exhibiting and promoting unique Goan crafts like pottery, woodcraft, crochet, handicrafts, coconut craft, hand-painted tiles and food stalls serving traditional Goan cuisine (seafood, sannas xacuti, cafreal, choris pao and more) managed by local artisans and self-help groups will be showcased during this five day festival.
Capturing the culture of Goa are the entertainment programmes that include Goan dance performances like Dhalo, Mando, Fugdi, Ghode Modni, Goff, Divli dance, Kunbi dance, Kalshi dance, Kazaracho dance, fisherfolk dance and other traditional Goan folk dances like Jagor, Morulo, Khel Tiatr, Veerabhadra, Dhangar Nrutya, Zemado and Dasarwadan. “Folk artists dressed in traditional Goan costumes greet people and move around entertaining the crowd during the festival,” says Tamara. There's more... A fashion show of traditional Goan wear by the Goan fashion designer Verma D’Mello, Konkani and classical songs performed by Sonia Shirsat and Praveen Gaonkar, a performance by Goa's nightingale Lorna Cordeiro, Goa’s folk dances by several dance troupes, and performance by Tiatr artists Milagres Fernandes, Cezar D’Mello and Agnel D’Costa, and a traditional Goan brass band are in store for you.
To end the grand festival, a seminar on Goan Heritage has been organised on the final, January 11th at the Saligao Panchayat Hall, with lectures by the President of Goa Heritage Action Group and professor at Dhempe College of Arts and Science, Mr. Prajal Sakhardande and Feature Writer and Photographer Pantaleao Fernandes.