Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sea bathing soothes people in Goa every summer

Come March-April every year, Goans head for the beaches. The summer seems to be a wake up call for Goans reminding them that there exists a beach which is calling. For the rest of the year, Goans are lost in their busy schedules and do not even think about the beach too often like the rest of the world does. But if its summer, it has to be Goa's beaches.

The healing powers of the beach waters have been part of traditional folklore for Goans who sincerely believe that the waters of the ocean offer the much needed relief in the scorching heat of the summer while inducing the healing touch to a variety of ailments.  

So it is a common sight to watch Goans submerged waist deep in the waters of the beach for hours in the testing heat, with their brown skins gleamingGoan sea bath as if they were soaking up a tan. On the contrary, this is a typical Goan practice of a rejuvenating sea bath in the summer.

Some Goans believe that this kind of a soaking bath has its effects only in the summer and not during other seasons in the year. So as the summer picks up itself, Goan families get together  along with neighbouring friends and relatives to spend at least a day or two on the sand, soaking in the ocean before winding back home towards dusk time.

Across the state of Goa it is a familiar sight to see residents near the beach especially around the beaches of Colva, Benaulim, Calangute, Baga, Arambol and Miramar where there is a sudden rush flocking for an energising bath. So from the inner villages, towns, nooks and corners of Goa the doddering Goan oldies, grannies, mothers and toddlers all come for their traditional date with the sea, equipped with towels, lunches and tasty snacks for a bath with all the comforts at hand.

Many Goans swear by the waters of the sea claiming that the body remains fighting fit for the rest of the year with an annual bath. Some others opine that a sea bath is not only refreshing during summer time but also keeps away pains and aches from bones and keeps the skin disease free.

There are other Goans who believe that a sea bath for a couple of days can ward off degenerative ailments like arthritis and keep swelling of joints and bones at bay. In fact bathing in the sea in Goa during the months of March, April and May is a faithful ritual that envelopes all communities and classes.

There is a strong belief that a dip in the summer is more helpful due to the high salinity believed to be in the sea water and the duration of the soak is considered very important. The older generation feels that a person needs a dip in the sea at least thrice a day with no cleansing with fresh water for  a period of 24 hours after bathing to get maximum benefit

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