Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Goan “ nustekann”

Goa is a place of sun sea and sand. Goans are funloving and Goa can help you unwind. All facts wellknown. There is another. Goans cannot survive without their favourite staple food which is fish.

When I was a kid I always found plenty of trade being undertaken by goans on a door to door basis. One of those familiar ladies was the fisherwoman referred in goan Konkani as the nustekann.

A big panttlo on the head over a cloth roll known as the muddanso, fish of various sizes, the nustekann starts her day early. She is at the wholesale fish market as early as 4 or 5 in the morning to get the best bargain so that she can sell her stock for a healthy profit.

After making the purchase she then strolls down the village of her belonging, chanting calls of “ nustem zaiiieeeeeem ghueeeeee” which shakes up the housewives despite the sound of the kitchen mixer in full flow. The nustekann is then invited from the road by goan households with queries of what fish she carries for the day and depending upon the type of fish she gets the due invitation to sell her fish to various households.

This door to door marketing is probably the oldest of its type in Goa and people of Goa have relied faithfully on the nustekann for their daily pound of fish. In fact some Goans do not buy fish from the market even if they visit the city and instead wait specially for their nustekann to lend them their most desired delicacy.


Xittuk Goencar

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