This website is about the GOAN Christian Community of Pakistan. Every Goan has ancestral roots in Goa, India, formerly a Portuguese colony. All Goans of Pakistan are predominantly Catholic. Although the 'Christian Community of Pakistan' has contributed immensely to nation-building; this endeavor is solely dedicated to researching, highlighting and archiving the GOAN community's historical background, cultural heritage, significant achievements and contribution to Pakistan, before and after independence.

 
The magic of Goa cannot be taken away by a few steamy stories!
Menin Rodrigues


Ever since I’ve returned from Goa from my recent holiday, I have been reading and contemplating on news and views of Goa from a different perspective. The updates, articles and happenings which I receive from time to time are indeed interesting but most strike a common note – doom and gloom for Goa. Why? Does Goa have two faces to its existence?

In an earlier piece I wrote about the wonderful time I spent with my family and friends over Christmas 2009 and the joys I shared with people by simply being in the place of my forefathers. It was the closest thing I’ve experienced to being a Goan. This phenomenon is something which Goa’s tourism godfathers should try and sell to Goa’s own sons and daughters who are settled with their families in large numbers all over the world.

From comments that I overheard in conversations during my sojourn were laments that young Goans, especially those who were born abroad or were brought up in distant places, are quite averse to Goan traditions and culture. There is nothing alarming about this phenomenon because it is a natural process to be immersed in norms that surround your immediate environment. This is no fault of the kids.

If you look at it from another angle, people move from one place to another in search of greener pastures and this ‘reason’ too is quite normal for people to migrate and settle abroad. If this then is the dilemma, what will Goans have to do to retain their identities, culture and links to Goa? The answer, in my opinion, lies with us, you and me, to take on the mantle and find ways to strengthen relationships between Goans in Goa and Goans elsewhere. The question is…how and what? Technology is at our fingertips to manage the ‘how’ element’ but it is the ‘what’ that we need to work on.

If Goa is to find, lure and recruit its true ambassadors, they could be none other than people from Goan diasporas nestled in various parts of the globe. Their experiences of Goa, when they visit their ancestral land, would give a clearer picture of India’s most enigmatic, glamorous and allegedly notorious resort than what is being perceived by what one reads so frequently in the media.

Goa’s beaches are beautiful, very natural, but may not be the hardest of sells for a place of pristine beauty and which is shrouded with an enchanted past, a conflicting present and a future that may change the face of Goa forever. The Goan Diaspora hold Goa too close to their hearts and may not know some of the ground realities but this predicament should not be grounds for casting a shadow on Goa.

A shift in Goa’s unique selling proposition from the perennial beach resort to a holiday destination for family-fun, history, architecture, food, art, music, theatre, sport, culture, literature, traditions, festivities and customs, can surely bring respite to a flurry of bad press in recent times. This daunting challenge is ours because if we don’t chip in with the many good things we know or have experienced of Goa, others will spread the little bad they know of Goa and leave us choking with guilt.

They say every single drop makes an ocean so let us start right away! Those of you, who have been to Goa, lets say in the past five years, write down your observations and experiences and put it into cyber space. It will be seen and read by somebody somewhere and hopefully, word of mouth will travel far and wide bringing in its wake awareness of ‘the real charm’ of Goa!

While in Goa my observations convinced me that besides local and overseas Goans, people from everywhere are also in love with Goa and they don’t know why! They come because others come and because they’ve heard good things about Goa. I doubt this category of visitors (and there would be several tiers) know and get an opportunity to experience the ‘real Goa’ – an experience that only Goans can share with likeminded people, it’s a culture thingy!

That is why I think that the charm and magic of Goa cannot be taken away by a few steamy stories.
 

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