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One festival, many reasons to celebrate

Janice Savina Rodrigues | NT BUZZ

The sleepy village of Socorro will be decked up for the Patoienchem Fest today. NT BUZZ brings you the details

After celebrating six consecutively successful editions, the Patoienchem fest is back with the same if not greater fervour than before. The cultural event that has become one of the most anticipated festivals on a Goan’s calendar, gives us something authentically Goan in the cacophony of the other commercial festivals. Goans really don’t need a reason to celebrate but here the people of Socorro are giving you seven.

“We are going to combine seven mini festivals into one mega event. Apart from commemorating Independence Day and the Feast of Assumption of Our Lady, we are going to also celebrate the World Goa Day, Konkani Day, Ghumtacho Nazz, Goenche Jevonn, and the Patoienchem fest,” says Fr Santana Carvalho, parish priest of the Socorro Church.

The festival, says Fr Santana, will focus on each of the above mentioned aspects. The day will start with the flag hoisting and will be followed by the holy Mass. The paddy crop ubiquitous to Goa will be honoured through the patoie. “We want the people to learn about their Goan identity and the language, and that wherever life may take you, we hope that you never forget what you learn from your Goan roots,” says Fr Santana.

There will also be a Konkani book released on this day speaking about the life of photographer Joel D’Souza, one of the main supporters of the festival, who passed on last year. “We want to also pay our respects to the ghumat, an instrument made from the soil of Goa. There will be people helping others to learn this instrument,” he says.

Interestingly this year the organisers have decided to highlight another aspect of the Goan customs – the roce. “Before every wedding, the households of the bride and groom come together in their respective homes and have the tradition of the roce, where the to-be wedded individuals are bathed with the coconut milk. We will be demonstrating to those gathered, how we make that roce. Also we will teach them the folk songs that are sung on such an occasion,” says Fr Santana.

Organised by the Socorro Socio-Arts and Cultural Association, the festival is held in collaboration with the GTDC. What started as an attempt to unite the people of one village has now become a melting pot for all those culturally inclined.

“We initially had decided to have this festival to bring together the seven wards of our village, earlier we didn’t know people living in other wards but now we are all one big family. It is also one day in the year that we dedicate to our church,” says president of the Socorro Socio-Arts and Cultural Association, Connie Pinto.

The seventh edition is touted to be a more fun-filled and community based festival that will have entertainment, games for all ages and Goan delicacies to choose from. Beginning at 11 a.m. after the mass, the fest will continue well into the early evening.

There will also be performances of tiart artistes like Peter Roshan, a workshop by Alexyz and stalls selling ghumots, plants and other Goan goodies. Connie credits Fr Santana and festekar Marius who have played a pivotal role in the festival’s success.

(The festival will be held at the Socorro Church Grounds from 11 a.m.)

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