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The annual festival of Bonderam was celebrated by the St Mathias Sports Club together with the Department of Art and Culture and Goa Tourism at the Malar Square, Divar.

The festival of flags

The annual festival of Bonderam was celebrated by the St Mathias Sports Club together with the Department of Art and Culture and Goa Tourism at the Malar Square, Divar.

The word ‘Bonderam’ comes from the Portuguese word ‘bandeira’ meaning flag. The history of the festival traces back to the Portuguese era, wherein, to curb the frequent disputes that occurred between two village wards in Divar, the Portuguese introduced a system of demarcation of boundaries with flags. The rival groups, however, knocked down the demarcation flags with stones. Today, the Bonderam festival or the flag festival is celebrated in mockery of the past feuds and includes a brass band, fancy dress competition along with the traditional float parade. This year the festivities began with the ‘Bonderamchi Passoi’, a heritage walk around Divar island led by Goa’s ‘festekar’ Marius Fernandes. Participants were also given the opportunity to sample local sweets along the way like doce, patoleo and chonne.

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