Goa

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Happiness is the interval between periods of unhappiness.
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Goa is a small region along the west coast of the Indian subcontinent. It was a Portuguese colony for a long period from 1510 to 1961, leading to a rich -- if not always peaceful -- encounter between East and West. Since 1961, it became a part of India. Prior to its encounter with the Portuguese too, it had been a prominent centre of trade in the region.

Old (and not-so-old) Konkani sayings

  • Jea konnem Goa pollelam, tannem Lisboa pollonvchi goroz nam. (He who has seen Goa need not see Lisboa.)

  • Goenkarank udarponn fokot ek utor nhoi – ti amchi ek parampora. (Hospitality is not just a word for Goans – it's a tradition.)

  • Dantui moje ani vonttui moje. (To avoid hurting someone close.)

  • Zaka zolltta, takach kolltta. (Only the injured knows what's pain.)

  • Dusro nachta mhunn apnnem naschem nhoi. (Do what's within your limits.)

  • Melele moxik bara xer dudh; jivi astannam ekui nam. (Nobody utters a word of praise when alive, but one is showered with praises when dead.)

  • Sanjek nasleleak mijeas chodd. (The poor boasts more.)

  • Hanv hansta desak ani des hansta mojea bhesak. (To point out others' mistakes while one is at fault.)

  • Khatolo zalear chonno, bolsant nam anno. (To be completely bankrupt.)

  • Nakak dhorlear tondd ugtem zata. (If the nose is held closed, the mouth opens. -- Old Konkani saying.)

  • Moddlelea khursac resped na. (No one respects a broken down cross.)

  • Kam zalem, voiz melo. (When your work is done, don't forget the one who helped.)

  • Fudlem zoth voitam toxem fatlem. (The oxen behind follow in the footsteps of those in front.)

  • Baim suktoch, udcacho valor collta. (When the well dries up, one realizes the value of water)

  • Ek boro zonn kedinch sanddonam. Zo konn borim chintnam vompta to ixttagot lunvta; doieallponn laita and mog lunvta. (A good person is never lost. The one who sows thoughtfulness reaps friendship; plants kindness, reaps love. -- Quoted and translated by Domnic Fernandes)

English, or English-translated

  • "Goa, the land of pigs, priests and crosses" -- Mary Bruce, Kenyan artist & farmer. (Not any longer... pigs are no longer the scavenger of choice.)


  • "Throw a stone behind your back in Goa, and you would either hit a musician or a drunk"

  • Hospitality is not just a word here -- it's a tradition. -- Anibal da Costa, in A Goan Potpourri (Manila, 1999)

  • The azure seas of Goa yield a variety of fresh, tasty seafood and fish. With a pleasant climate and diverse flora and fauna, Goa is a haven of peace and a mix of laziness and nonchalance, a mixture of the past and the future, where beautiful palm-fringed beaches glitter on its shores. Floring plants and trees grow lush, verdant, and fast. Fat ripe fruits like mangoes, papayas, cajus and many others abound. -- Anibal da Costa, in A Goan Potpourri (Manila, 1999)

  • With the arrival of the Portuguese in Goa, in the early 16th century, Konkani music was confronted with a new musical style, Western European in origin, employing harmony, where usually three or more sounds combine simultaneously to form a chord... --Musicologist Jose Pereira, Michael Martins and Antonio da Costa in their book 'Folk Songs of Goa: Mando-Dulpods & Deknnis' ISBN-81-7305-281-6

  • The Goans were very Victorian. Their girls were expected to be respectable and straightfaced and anti-sensual.The result was that the honest men had to hunt out Damibian women who did nothave the Goan problem (the dishonest ones could find bored housewives, tired of their arranged, loveless marriages to older, respectable men or the more daring ones whose defiant love marriages had dried up all too soon). --Peter Nazareth, in The General Is Up: A Novel Set in Modern Africa. Writer's Workshop, Calcutta, 1984.

  • You can take the Goan out of Goa, but you cannot take Goa out of the Goan. Michael Ali, Karachi Pakistan.

  • I'd met a lot of European hippies in Goa; I wanted to be an Indian hippie in Europe. — Pop artiste Remo Fernandes commenting on his first trip to Europe. RemoFernandes.com

  • After about a decade of going crazy over Elvis Presley, Cliff Richard, The Shadows, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles, one of the greatest influences in my life was the psychedelic music of the 70s, especially the movie 'Woodstock', which I watched over and over again. That was the time when rock broke all barriers and became experimental; Jethro Tull fused it with western classical, Blood Sweat & Tears fused it with jazz, Santana fused it with Latin, Osibisa fused it with African... rock truly became the voice of global youth, no more the prerogative or monopoly of America. — Pop artiste Remo Fernandes, in an interview to the Indian newsweekly The Week.

  • C'mon Goa-family! (Goa is a magical place but also a local musical genre near to "trance" music, with many adepts over all the world) - Electronic artist Pineal before every concert. DjPineal.org

  • Konkani is the language of Goa, and the culture that's based on it is Goan culture. -- Politician, lawyer, and Konkani writer Uday Bhembre in Sunaparant, a Goa newspaper.


  • Colonialism is a crime against humanity and yet there are no ill-feelings anywhere in Goa against the Portuguese people. --Former Member of Parliement, Eduardo Faleiro, currently (2006) Commissioner for Non-Resident Goan Affairs.

  • The Roman Catholic community is a major minority in Goa. Though their numbers here have fallen from 38 percent of the population in 1960 to 26.6 percent in 2001, they are still a vibrant and influential presence. Contrary to popular notions of the susegado -- laid-back -- Goan, they are an industrious, politically active, enterprising community, with a long history of migration to East Africa, Portugal, Canada, the UK and the Middle East. Together with Goa's low birth rate (the lowest in the country), this departure for better opportunities abroad has led to their numbers dwindling back home. But Goa would not be Goa without their combative, effusive spirit, their robust tiatr (from the Portuguese tiatro, for theatre) and their enigmatic and chequered political leadership. -- Goa-based poet Manohar Shetty, in Tehelka, September 9, 2006.

  • I have faith in the freedom of the Press. However, the right to freedom of expression necessarily means the responsibility to uphold the diginity of the society, dignity of the State and the dignity of India. -- Goa chief minister Pratapsing Rane, in Herald's special edition published on Oct 10, 2006 on the occasion of the 106th anniversary of the paper.

  • Simply stated, the first paradox asks why the majority of international tourists are so enthusiastic about Goa in spite of the fact that there are aspects of the tourism experience which, if found in Europe or other developed countries, would constitute serious grounds for complaint. --David Wilson, in 'Paradoxes of Tourism in Goa" ('The Transforming of Goa', Norman Dantas, ed.1999 OiP. Other India Press. ISBN 81-85569-45-2)

  • This town was very large, with goodly edifices and handsome streets and squares, surrounded by walls and towers. There is a very good fortress in it, and in the environs many gardens and orchards of fine trees and fruits, and many pools of good water. --Duarte Barbosa describing Goa, centuries ago.

  • Goans are a tolerant, informal people, team-oriented and people-oriented and supportive of one another's work. They are both individually and socially responsve. -- Fr Romualdo R De Souza, founder, Goa Institute of Management and former Director of Xavier Labour Relations Institute, Jamshedpur. Also founder-director of Xavier Institute of Management Bhubaneswar.

  • Goa has achieved a remarkable level of social cohesion since its liberation in 1961. It is relatively free of the communal and caste tensions which have vitiated (the) investment climate elsewhere.... A sense of relaxation which every visitor feels in Goa is a product of its life-style, which is in consonance with mother nature, and a sense of fulfillment which the people of Goa exhibit in their day-to-day life. V.A.Pai Panandiker, economist, earlier director of Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi.

  • Most of us are aware of 450 years of European dominance and the institutional, religious and legal imperatives resulting from it. Some of us are aware of a change-over in the last thirty years from a predominantly Christian to a symbiotic Hindu-Christian society, where the Hindu element has supplanted the Christian in numerical terms. Very few of us are conscious about the impact that the overlay of a globalised-homogenised dominant culture has and continues to have upton the manifestation of an indigenous culture. -- Cho Padamsee, former principal, Goa College of Architecture.

  • Before the 16th century, Goa was a languid Elysium, a remote province on the periphery of large kingdoms, ensconced in the wooded foothills of the Western Ghats. In the 16th century, it was suddenly elevated to the status of being the eastern metropolis of the Portuguese empire, extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific. It then became the seat of a Christian imperialism whose influence, in the east, encompassed the area between the Cape of Good Hope and the Sea of Japan. -- Jose Pereira, Professor Emeritus of Theology, Fordham University, New York.

  • [Goa's] metropolitan dignity was embodied in structures of an appropriate grandeur during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Then, as the Portuguese empire decayed, Goa sank into political insignificance, becoming again a soporofic paradise, but retaining a sense of the former grandeur in its edifices, now enveloped by the land's idyllic landscape. -- Jose Pereira, Professor Emeritus of Theology, Fordham University, New York.

  • Goanism is a psycho-endemic-repulsion, brought on whenever two or more Goans, of known or unknown significance, converge on the same field of survival, revival, rivalry or connivery. -- Dom Martin [1] Artist, Poet, Writer

  • I do not fear justice; I only fear injustice. -- Fr. Chico Monteiro [2]

  • Art is my passion, my death and resurrection. -- Dom Martin [3] Artist, Poet, Writer

  • You can see the color of my skin but you cannot see the color of my brain. -- Max Sequiera, Art Connoisseur, critic