RAMANDEEP KAUR AND VENITA GOMES| NT BUZZ
Over the years, the Goan culture has been influenced by various dynasties which ruled over Goa, and later by the Portuguese. Undeniably, this has lent a uniqueness to Goa’s cultural heritage. But with changing times, a question that lurks is, are youngsters today interested in working towards preserving Goa’s identity. Turns out they are.
It is up to youngsters today to safeguard Goa and its unique identity. The good news is there are quite a few who are doing just that discovers NT BUZZ
Knowing your Goa
There is so much one can unearth about Goa through its heritage and history. Founder of Bhoomij Heritage Consultancy, Sawani Shetye from Porvorim has taken up the task of promoting and spreading heritage education in Goa. She organises various trails, tours and walks for tourists and locals too, to various historic places, explaining the various traditional aspects in an interesting manner which is different from the rest.
Sawani’s aim behind this is to make heritage learning fun for people. “We take people to various locations and introduce them to a Goa which they think they know about, but in fact are not aware of its importance or dignificance. We also get the locals involved by serving the participants’ local food, taking them to local outlets and much more,” she says.
The whole concept behind starting a heritage consultancy was to make heritage tourism popular in Goa. “Goa is known for tourism. Besides that people are not acquainted with its heritage aspect. However these trails and tours are not restricted to Goa. We conduct trails and tours to various other places as well,” she says.
Redefining the image of Goa
Social media and its various platforms are means to connect to the world and spread the message to the masses. Merces-based, music composer, Tushar Kamat has been using these to reach out to the people and trying to connect Goa to its music roots. He recently organised a folk music programme wherein he highlighted ‘zagor’ music that is dear to Goa and has come from its tribal people. “If you ask any outsider about Goa, the first thing that comes to their mind is sand and sea including alcohol and party life. There is a need to change this outlook about Goa. My attempt has been to redefine the image of Goa. Music is something that can connect the two aspects and therefore, I work with a tribal group and understand the music in depth,” he says.
While working on various projects he understood that people would worship nature as god. “Worshipping our nature was associated with religion, it is a way of life, beyond all the other approaches. I personally feel Goa and music has a deep relation and Goa holds one of the oldest folk forms,” he says.
His songs like ‘Hello Patrao – Uniting Goans’, ‘Take A Taxi’ and others were composed to evoke patriotismm.
Promoting Goan culture through art
Anant Kalanand Bambolkar
Being an artist and a theatre artist, Anant Kalanand Bambolkar has always tried to bring Goan flavour to his works, through his paintings or drama performances. He is also an art teacher in a school and while working with students he experiments with Goan folk music, theatre, dance and visual art in a bid to preserve Goa’s unique culture.
Anant says that if we want to preserve Goan culture then passing on the culture to children is very important as they are the future generation who will preserve it. “Also, through my group ‘Antruz Ghudyo’, we organise various events related to Goan culture especially for children,” he adds.
Having completed a Bachelor’s degree (Fine Arts) in 2006, Anant completed his post graduation diploma from Mumbai Educational Trust. After having spent four years in the IT industry, he quit and came back home for the love of Goa. Anant also dabbles in theatre, as a lights and set director. He also designs book covers for for literary books, covering poetry and novels.
For the love of traditional music
Nixon Teofilo Fernandes
A student at Fr Agnel College of Arts and Commerce, Nixon Teofilo Fernandes is a music teacher. He promotes Goan culture by playing for ‘alvorad’, ‘ross’, ‘litany’, ‘laudad’, ‘feasts’, Sao Joao, parties and other various occasions. He also teaches and encourages other youth to carry forward Goan culture. He also has a choir ‘Resonating Mellows’, which that sings for various religious church services, keeping the Konkani musical culture alive.
Apart from this, his band plays live Konkani music and folk songs in hotels during the tourist season. Goan culture, he says, is one which has a variety in itself, but it is unfortunate to see emerging youth follow trends set in the West and give more inportance to it. “In order to promote our Goan culture, the best medium is traditional Goan music, like ‘manddo’, ‘ovi’ songs, ‘ross’ ceremony songs, etc. Today’s youth plays a massive role in preserving this traditional culture for generations to come. And this is possible only if our youth listen and learn to play these songs,” says Nixon.