King Momo 2015 Giovanni Bosco
Giovanni Bosco Santimano will reign supreme as King Momo for the four fun filled days. Chosen from among thirteen competitors, he is the Joint Commissioner of Customs and Central Excise.
The 57-year-old Indian Revenue Service officer from Colva was the first prize winner of the Goa Carnival Float on ‘Mixed Marriage’ held in 1998 and second prize winner at the Goa Carnival in 2003. He has also participated as King Momo at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club Carnival in 2005.
On the float he will be accompanied by his royal family; wife Jenniffer, daughters, Rochelle and Daniella and niece Serena. Giovanni is all excited about his position this year at the Carnival. He calls upon all to feast and make merry during the four colourful days.
This year Carnival will take it to another level altogether as the first day (today) coincides with Valentine’s Day. The theme for the Panaji parade this year is based around ‘Cupid and Love’. Others are the standard ones that include Traditional, Club/Institution, Family, Sponsored, Fun Junk and Clown/Joker.
Carnival was initially introduced by the Portuguese, who ruled Goa for over four centuries. Today it has grown and become popular among locals and tourists who throng to the state. Besides, the parades cultural programs and dances as well as local khell tiatrs are being organised all across the state. The idea is to ensure that the carnival gives tourists the essence of traditional Goa where traditional occupations, brass bands, colourful décor, and folk music rule during the four day festivities .This year the Panaji Committee is also organising a Kids’ Carnival this year. Panaji parade to be flagged off Goa’s chief secretary Kewal Sharma in the presence of secretary Tourism R K Srivastava, director, Tourism Ameya Abhyankar and managing director GTDC Nikhil Desai. Around 100 floats will entertain the crowds in the float parade in the capital city for which elaborate arrangements are made to ensure smooth flow of traffic and conduct of the float parade. This year the prize money for the floats has been hiked to rupees one lakh, which was announced by the tourism minister Dilip Parulekar. The arrangements for Carnival float parade in the city have been overlooked by tourism department and Goa Tourism Development Corporation. Along with Carnival, the state is also hosting a food festival.
During these four days people will get to savour traditional and authentic Goan recipes. The décor this year will also focus on Goa. People’s carnival is what the Panjim committee under the Commissioner CCP is assuring this year.
No more people’s carnival
Though many folks in the state complain that Carnival has gotten totally commercial and the flavour is no more like it used to be. Today, there are many commercial and sponsored floats while the traditional ones have become less. Many of those who participate in the parade say that no people are willing to come forward. Also they say that the raw materials used to create floats have become expensive to source as the prize money is too less and difficult to break even. However, what might be an improvement this year, is that there might be no Bollywood stars, thus to some extent keeping it local with its original flavour. What our Carnival needs is to focus on Goan tradition, people’s participation, token money for participants, creativity, quality floats, proper organisation and time management.
Other Highlights of Panaji Carnival
- The party in the capital will begin on February 14 after the parade, when King Momo and his entourage will be brought to the Samba Square. His decree will be read out, thus throwing open carnival celebrations at the Samba Square. The first day will revolve around entertainment, food, music, décor, masquarades. A special area is also being set up for children at the Samba Square.
- On February 15, Samba Square turns red and black. The dress code for the dance is strictly red and black. There will be an Argentinian band Rio Samaya in action.
- On February 17, the last day, the celebrations will continue with entertainment, food, music etc.