MARGAO: Portugal Prime Minister Antonio Costa got down from his official vehicle at 12.40 p.m, helloed the eagerly-waiting neighbours and hugged his family members before stepping into his ancestral house at Margao to share ‘quality time’ with them on Thursday.
He shook hands with his neighbours, greeted them in Portuguese, and later when the students of Manovikas High School sang a Portuguese welcome song, he was overjoyed and had a beaming smile on his face.
And, the moment the song ended, he was received by his cousin Anna Karina Costa, but again he reached out to the people and then gave a photo pose to the media.
The security liaison officer for the Prime Minister Costa blocked the media from entering the house immediately thereafter since the visit was purely a private one and the family needed to share time in togetherness.
“Once I reached here, I recalled the sweet memories. This house belongs to my father and uncle. While my father separated and we settled in Portugal, my uncle lived in Goa. They (pointing to the cousin) are my close family,” he said, when the media asked. He further disclosed to the foreign media that in India there is a tradition that family stays together, remains united.
Costa spent more than two hours with his family members along with couple of his Portugal government officials.
“We are proud of him. Because, a Goan is leading Portugal. In Europe, there is freedom unlike in our country. I am very happy to see a Prime Minister (of Portugal) in my neighbourhood,” said Artemio D’Silva.
Another neighbour, Jaya Borkar reacted after shaking hands with Prime Minister Costa. “We used to play here during our childhood. I am glad to see him in Goa as a Portugal PM,” she said.
Neighbours greeted him, holding the Portugal country flags and congratulating him in Portuguese language. There were many elderly ‘badkars’ amidst the crowd. Many women were also seen with their children to have a glimpse of Costa.
“He (Costa) shared a good time with us. We prepared him Indian and western mixed food. I am sure that he liked it. If I had to cook for him, I would have been busy in the kitchen and my precious time would have been lost,” said Anna Karina
SP (Security), Umesh Gaonkar and his team provided security for the Portugal Prime Minister.