by Fr. Nascimento Mascarenhas
After I wrote about what some of the Goan villages of Bardez in the north of Goa are famous for, one or two people chided me for confining my scope to just one part of Goa. As this essay was also posted on GoaNet, I presume others too must have had similar feelings. Dr Nandkumar Kamat of Goa University sent me an e-mail in which he stated: “By Indian standards our Goa villages may be small, but there is so much to tell.” He was kind enough to share with me a few gems: The village of Morajim (Morgim) was known for the best toddy (sur), Siolim for oysters (kalvam); Calangute and Colva for mackerels (bangede), Sancoale for mussels (shinanye); the best asago rice came from Carambolim; and, the best korgut rice from Calapur and Combarjua.
Well, let me attempt to make the list a little longer, and satisfy all my hungry and thirsty friends!
The Goan village of Arpora is famous for the tasty Oddfoddcheô gollxeô (Jew fish), Arambol for solar shrimps and coconut feni; Agassaim for chourissam (sausages) and sweet-potatoes; Assagao for flowers, especially abolim.
The Goan village of Banatarim is known for its bazaar, famous in Goa for fruits that are used to decorate the Matoli during Ganesh Chaturthi; Benaulim for narl (coconuts); Britona is famous in Goa for oysters (kalvam);
Colva is famous for its beach and for the Fama de Menino Jesus. The village of Colvale in north Goa is famous for its flat-stone fish “Ballu” and jaggery; Chapora for ximpiô (shells) used for white-washing, and vinegar; The island of Chorao is famous for its mango called Chon’necho Malcurada and Carmona for boram; Curtorim for “Keleanchem Fest”; Calvim is famous for big prawns, mullets.; Corgao for cashew feni, in fact the whole Pernem taluka is known for cashew fruit; Guirim is famous for buffaloes (redde) – “Girvoddche redde Porra vhorun vikhle” (Munn’nni).
Macazana is known for its big khazan fields and for the variety of vegetables grown in former times; Majorda and Parra for watermelons; Morjim for its mudd’doxeô (lady fish); Mapuça for its Friday weekly market; Margao in earlier times was famous for bamboo stalks and Borda for Peranchem fest; Mormugao is famous for its murmu (pearls).
Goa Velha is famous for konguô (sweet potatoes); Tiracol is famous for rock fish; Siridao for oyster shells used for windows of Goan houses; Orlim for copra; Santana for cucumbers (Touxeanchem fest); Oxel is famous for palm feni; Pirna for pirni rice; Santo Estevam (Jua) for bendde (lady fingers); Raia for Rai toleantu sai masolli; Velim is famous for xinnanneô or zob (shell-fish) and was once a trading centre. Cabo de Rama is famous for rock fish like red-snapper and for lobster.
Besides, the Goan villages of Benaulim and Sancoale are famous for their connection with Blessed Joseph Vaz, so also Anjuna and Pilar for Venerable Fr. Agnel de Sousa.
Practically every village in Goa is famous for the feast of its temple and/or church. Margao and Panjim are famous for Purumentachem Fest at the end of May, which in the old days was held so that housewives could stock up on provisions before the imminent monsoon. Pomburpa is famous for the Feast of Our Lady of Candelaria on February 2nd – Pomburpechem fest dubleancheam porank nhoi – as well as for its fountain (zôr); Goa Velha for Santanchem pursanv, the Procession of Saints; Shirgao-Bicholim for the Zatrotsav of Goddess Lairai, a festival wherein the ritual of Agnidivya (walking over burning coals) is performed by the Dhonds; Fatorda, Farorpa and Zambaulim for their Zatras; Siridao for Pejechem Fest.
Old Goa is famous for its churches, especially the Basilica of Bom Jesus and the observance of the feast of St. Francis Xavier on December 3rd; Cuelim, Arossim, Cansaulim (St. Thomas parish) as well as Verem and Chandor are all famous for the Three Kings Feast; Panjim, Margao and Moira for the Feast of Immaculate Conception; In the churches of Our Lady of Hope at Candolim and Our Lady of Assumption at Velsao, the feast of the Assumption is celebrated, also known as Boa Morte Saibinn.
Bambolim is famous in Goa for the miraculous Holy Cross, now called Fulancho Khuris. Marcel and temples in Ponda district are well known for their respective temple feasts. Orlim is famous for the festival of umbrellas and for copra for extracting oil; Sinquetim-Navelim is famous the Festa de Leques (fans);
Naroa is famous for its fair on the feast of Ostom or Tirta; Dramapur is known as the seat of religious learning – it used to be a pilgrim centre. Siroda was famous for its temple singers/dancers (devadasi), immortalised in the deknni Hanv Saiba Poltodi Vetam.
Arvalem, Dabolim and Aquem for caves; Dudhsagar and Arvalem are a very big tourist attraction in Goa for waterfalls; Salvador do Mundo, Taleigao and Raia are famous in Goa for the harvest festival.
The Goa village of Ucassaim was famous for mestri (choirmasters) and mogrenche kolle; Cuncolim for sofa & chair carvings and Benaulim for carpenters;
Then there is the Rachol Seminary at Rachol, house of formation for Catholic seminarians, which this year is celebrating the Fourth Centenary of its foundation. Rachol is famous for the monthly pilgrimage to the image of Christ, so also Varca, which has a yearly pilgrimage to the image of Christ.
There are many English high schools in Goa these days, but St. Joseph High School, Arpora and Mater Dei Institution, Saligao were the first schools in Goa that sent students for the Matriculation examination
Finally, Borim is famous in Goa for Borechi Tar. Ami kollvontam Borieche tari… Boreche tari dada Borieche tari…
[I am extremely thankful to my friend Joel D’Souza from Assagao for some of his inputs for this piece. You may also like to read the earlier essay What Are Goa’s Villages Famous For, which covers some of the villages of Bardez. Please send in your comments with additional inputs for other villages of Goa].