Friday, March 6, 2009

Who is a Goan ?

The question has been haunting people in Goa like a shadow in recent times. Part of the reason for this shadow is the rampant degradation goabeachsunof Goa due to haphazard development which has inadvertently brought in a lot of migrant settlers with no knowledge of Goa's culture or Goa's civic sense. The result has been a deep divide which if unchecked is bound to change the cultural topography of Goa. For the worst.

Some would opine that a Goan is  somebody merely by virtue of his/her birth in Goa. Others would probably attribute it to domicile while a third would rely on ancestry to support the "Goan" argument. However it is important to note that mere migration to Goa may not be sufficient to dig roots if the person does not have the natural attachment to Goan culture, Goan language and Goan traditions which have been followed for centuries.

However even if a person is born outside Goa and also reside outside  the state he can acquire his Goan roots by simply identifying to the deep sense of the Goan ethos. However the pride of being a Goan and revelling in the essence of the Goan heritage is very important. Being born of parents or ancestors who may have relocated to other parts of the world long ago from Goa, but being unable to identify with Goa or with no pride in being a Goan, would belie the attachment to Goa. The pride of Being Goan should speak loudly in your personality to be classified as "the Goan".

There are probably hundreds of facets of being a Goan which can be manifested through various connotations and actions. Some of them are through Goan music, Goan food, local Konkani language, thought processes, customs and traditions and Goan camaraderie.

Goan food as people will know is unique and every Goan takes pride in relishing it. Roots of origin are often detected with the love of ethnic tastes in a person and a true Goan will be no different. Language is another revelation of the Goan, that while he may have traces of other languages, The Konkani language is an unmistakable part and any Goan can be identified with his depth of the Konkani language as also its accent. Although this trait has also been mastered by many who have migrated  to Goa for years, it still is a revealer. It is the mother tongue and every Goan needs to be proud of it.

Goans are also known to be very affable people and a sense of friendliness is a natural trait of Goans. People from all over the world would like to repeat their visit to Goa more often for the meet up with friendly Goans rather than for the place itself. All kinds of religions and societies are wonderfully blended in the Goan sphere and thats what makes Goa so unique.

Our clothing, our music and the camaraderie of the "niz goencar" also bears testimony to our Goanness and cannot be mastered by one and all. Our celebrations of family occasions, and religious festivals is also blended to our culture and our tastes and cannot be imbibed by others easily. A complete Goan will identify with his roots in Goa.

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