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Comprehending myths from Goa

Center for study of Mythology and Culture is organising a seminar on “Understanding myths and other oral tales from Goa” at Institute Menezes Braganza, Panaji, today, on January 12 at 5 p.m. NT BUZZ finds out more about the topic and the need to document such stories and myths from the speakers
ARTI DAS | NT BUZZ

It is in many ways stated the India is a storytelling nation. We love to listen and share stories not only from our present but also from our past and also the stories of kings and queens and of gods and devils. Goa like many other places in India has a tradition of telling mythical and other tales. Taking a cue from here the Center for study of Mythology and Culture is organising a seminar on “Understanding myths and other oral tales from Goa” at Institute Menezes Braganza, Panaji, today, on January 12 at 5 p.m.
The seminar will be chaired by Secretary, Art and Culture, Daulat Hawaldar. Folklorist of Goa, Pandurang Phaldessai will highlight some interesting myths of Goan heritage. While speaking on his topic Phaldesai says: “In my lecture I will give some glimpses of mythological heritage of Goa. I will speak about the stories behind few rituals and so on.” His lecture will predominantly focus on the Canacona taluka and also have stories related to Shivlinga and Vetal which are integral to Goa.
Writer Jayanti Naik will enumerate myths and oral tales from the female perspective. She will speak on two interesting stories—the story of Ganesha’s birth and of birth of Vishnu kanya. “The story of Ganesha’s birth is mainly told during Ganesh Chaturthi which is a big festival here in Goa. This story we are well aware of, but I am looking at from a female prospective and how the birth of Ganesha was not dependent on Shiva (as it is told that Ganesha was formed from the sediments off Parvati’s body). She had the freedom and choice to give birth to her child. The story of Vishnu kanya is also similar,” says Naik.
Writer Maria de Lourdes Bravo da Costa Rodrigues will deliberate on the tradition of sati in writings of Lucio Rodrigues. This tradition is basically a puja which is held on the sixth day of child’s birth and that’s why it is called sati in Konkani. It is believed that the goddess of destiny or Sati will come and write the child’s destiny on his/her forehead and that’s why the baby should not be allowed to cry or kept alone on this day. Lourdes says, “My talk is based on the two stories from Lucio Rodrigues’s book, ‘Soil and Soul of Goa.’ The two stories are—‘Writ of Destiny’ and ‘Destiny Averted.’ These stories speak of sati traditions held in Goa. I will deliberate on how this tradition is no more practiced especially among the Catholic community here in Goa.” She further adds that sometimes some people insist on staying in hospital at least for six days so they don’t have to do rituals at home related to Sati.
On a concluding note Phaldesai while speaking about documenting such stories and myths states that the knowledge behind these rituals is diminishing and that’s why we need to understand it.
(The event is open to all.)

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