As a little girl watching tiatrs live, Manisha Pereira decided that one day it would be her turn on the stage. And she did just thatJP PereiraManisha Pereira’s love for tiatr began when she was a little girl, as she accompanied her parents for shows, even if meant travelling long distances.“We always took front seats, and watching the actors perform, I was quite fascinated. So I made up my mind that I would also be on stage one day,” she says.Pereira began taking part in plays at various school functions and when Xavier de Sanguem, a writer and director of ‘zomnivele khell’ for carnival, was releasing his three short plays (‘Ghoddtelem Mhunnon’, ‘Vogich Ravlom’, and ‘Punn Koslo Faido’), she was quick to put her name forward to act.“I sent him a text, telling him I wanted to act and requesting a role in his show. But I did not tell my mother,” she recalls.However as it so happens, the director came home with the script. “My mother said ‘No’ but I did eventually join the group and it was good fun,” she reveals, adding that her mother later came around. Now she makes it a point to always inform her mother, and her brother, Malistan, drops and picks her whenever he can, during the practices.Pereira has since acted for Nicky Mario, and this year has been in shows by Anthony de Ambajim. The latter has also cast her in his new Lenten production titled ‘Patkanchem Bhogsonem’. “During the carnival shows, I got a lot of help and encouragement from my director and co-stars, especially Jose Mascarenhas, the noted singer,” shares the Sanguem-based artiste.Apart from acting, Pereira has also come out with her own videos on social media like ‘Palvol’lo Divo’, ‘Tin Somarombh’, ‘Avoicho Mog’, and ‘Hi Ixttagoth Kosli’. Besides this, she writes poetry, articles and short stories for Konkani periodicals like ‘Vauraddeancho Ixtt’, Bhangarbhuim’, ‘Fuddari’, and ‘Porzoll’. She has hosted Konkani news bulletins on CCRTV and has done readings from ‘Jivitacho Prokas’ for the same channel. She has also recited several of her own poems, on the Roque Vaz Konkani FM radio channel based in London, ‘Konkani Uloi London Fuloi’Asked about the quality of tiatr today, Pereira states that she expects the standard to go higher with everyone’s effort. “Everything has its good and bad. We have to be shrewd enough, to go the right way,” she says. There are many youngsters who wish to join the stage. To them, she says: “To achieve something, there are often hurdles. These have to be overcome. Remember there will be some who discourage and criticize, but there will also be others who encourage. Go ahead and achieve the goal you planned for. Along with the rose, there are thorns. Admire the beauty of the rose. God has created the thorns to make us stronger.”And Pereira who is studying music and is also pursuing her masters in arts through Goa University adds that she will continue to act in tiatrs. “It is my childhood dream and I thank God for this wonderful blessing, loving and encouraging parents and brother, and all the good reviews I have received from my directors and the audience,” she says.
The war may be wreaking havoc in Ukraine, but Goa was witness to a different vibe — of peace and harmony — at the Art of Carnival 2022 that was held at Arambol on Thursday. Tourists, locals and foreigners gathered to celebrate the beach Carnival that focused on peace and love and many used the platform to raise anti-war placards that denounced Russia’s attack on Ukraine. Zou Zou, who organised the event, said, “We have been holding this beach parade for many years now and on Thursday we had a lot of Russians and Ukrainians who showed their concern about the war. The war will destroy people and peace and we don’t want that.” Ukrainians waving the national flag at Panaji Church ‘We citizens share the same roots’Denis Cherneko, co-founder of a techno band in Goa is a Ukrainian and is feeling very disturbed about what is happening back home. “We citizens share the same roots. In Goa, we live in total harmony and peace — in fact, I have a lot of Russian and Ukrainian friends. We party, eat and chill out together. My Russian friends are really embarrassed about what is happening. We don’t want any kind of disharmony.” Concerned about his folks back home, he says, “My mother and grandmother are in Ukraine and I’m really worried for them. This war is completely unnecessary because it will lead to losses that will affect citizens.” Irina Kozlova, who is residing in Goa, says, “I am Russian and my mother’s roots are in Odessa, which is in Ukraine. Millions of us share common roots. I have lots of friends in both countries. War is the worst thing that can happen and none I know supports it.” Olya, a Russian national based in Goa for the last decade, says, "This is a very sad time for Ukraine. In Goa, I have a lot of Ukrainian friends. In fact, my best friend is Ukrainian and we are always hanging out together." Ukrainians at a peace meet at Panaji Church ‘We are all one and we are all same’Yuliia Dovha who is stays in Siolim and is on tourist visa from Ukrainie, says, “I couldn’t believe the war would actually take place. I’ve been constantly on the phone and reading the news and it’s very scary. I’ve called my family and friends and we are keeping in touch. I have a lot of friends in Russia and no one is supporting this war. We’ve always considered Russia the big brother and Ukraine is the little brother. We are planning to have a peace march, to make sure that the war ends immediately.” Ekaterina Kupriyanova, a YouTube blogger, was born and raised in Moscow, and lives in Goa now. She tells us, “The country in which I was born has attacked the country where my friends and loved ones were raised. I can't imagine anyone asking me to stand up against my family. I don't want my fellow citizens to die. I am against military strikes under the mask of peacemaking. I am against violence and murder.” She adds, “No territories are worth so many broken families, grief and fear that has now befallen my loved ones.” Inputs by FlexciaDsouza
Goans and tourists alike were spotted on Tuesday evening at the iconic themed party, the Red and Black Dance, indulging in food, music and drinks, and having a good time the Goan way. Ashwyn Barreto, who was at the event, said, “This was my first time at the Red and Black dance. Goa has such diverse culture and Carnival is unique to Goa. We are lucky to witness this every year. The Goan drinks (urrack) and food stalls kept us going. Despite the pandemic, it was a good night.” Popular Goan bands like Archies, Valentinos, Raagas to Riches and Syndicate kept the audience grooving all night. Eshaan Sinai Lotlikar from Panaji said, “The hype about the dance is what attracts people from all over. The food, local drinks and Konkani music by Goan artistes was enough to keep us dancing all night.” It also helped people relive memories of the Carnival and Red and Black dance from previous years. Swarnika Pujari from Mumbai, who was at the event, told us, “When I knew the Carnival and Samba Square event were happening this year, I booked my tickets and came straight to Goa. It helped me refresh all my memories of the Red and Black Dance from other years.”
Thousands of Goans and tourists alike are flocking to the Samba Square festival hosted as part of the Goa Carnival in Panaji. Held from Saturday to Tuesday, the four-day gala event saw music performances by Goa’s top bands and musicians, including the much loved Lorna, who enthralled the crowd on day one of the event, with her Konkani hits. Several other bands like Lynx, Crimson Tide, Brothers in Arms, Uzo, Forefront and others performed during the following days too. “We have focussed on making the festival a more family oriented space. We have a kids area with bouncy castle, trampoline and other activities, for kids. Apart from what usually happens, we had archery, the pop up bazaar and even had a pet adoption camp. The response has been amazing. We have two food trucks inside the festival area. People are loving all the food stalls. We’ve tried to retain the spirit of the festival and only make it better,” says Mackenzie Pereira who’s helping with the event. After two years, the carnival was hosted on a large scale once again. Alvaro says, “After two years, it was great to see people being out and about.” Dilys adds, “The vibe that the Goa Carnival has created at the Samba Square is inclusive. I’m sure people of all walks of life are having a great time here. I really liked the stalls, music, ambiance and food area.” Mavil Maulingkar, “The organisation and set up of the carnival was well done. I’m genuinely happy that Carnival was held this year. The whole community came together. There was a pet adoption camp too. Lorna hyped us up as well.” The Pop It Up event happening at the Panaji garden has brands ranging from clothing, jewelry, home decor, ready to make BBQ kits, sustainable products and clothing and packaged food like preserves, pickles etc. “We have 50 brands on board and giving young entrepreneurs a platform to get visibility and sales. The first day saw the biggest crowd,” says Natasha Parekh, who organises Pop It Up. Yashika Chopra, who runs an organic pickles and condiments brand says, “This is a versatile platform that allows us to interact with people discovering new organic brands. I can offer tasting of my products, which helps people to understand why my brand stands out from other pickles and condiments brands.” Shruti who runs food and condiments brand adds, “It’s the first time I’ve experienced the Carnival and the energy is insane. The footfall has been good and this has helped us create awareness for our brand.” Aditya, who runs a contemporary apparel label says, “We get inspired from our travels and create something unique to remember the place by. So if was apt for us to be at the Carnival and experience the markets and culture. It’s always exciting for hear what people feel about our creations, and introduce the brand to locals.” The food stalls feature an array of cuisine, from Goa’s top restaurants to home chefs coming to the forefront. Ajanta Burman, a Bengali cuisine specialised chef who has a stall at the carnival says, “The authorities are supporting entrepreneurs like me. It is helping me to establish myself as a Bengali cuisine specialised chef and widen my customer base. The response is overwhelming and so positive. We’ve seen a great crowd on all days.”
The Carnival parade in Panaji on Saturday saw thousands gather to see the floats. King Momo opened the parade with cheer and enthusiasm. While the floats — both in number and scale — looked smaller than those in the pre-COVID years, people’s enthusiasm knew no bounds, as local families, tourists and expats made their way to Panaji to take part in day one of the Carnival. The parade included floats depicting various themes, like community classroom, dangers of unplanned development, protecting nature and wildlife, Coronavirus awareness and more. Ten members of the Rodrigues family in Candolim came up with a special float on protecting the environment. “Nature is being destroyed and the sea is being polluted. It is important to stress on the importance of saving forests and trees to avoid climate change. We want to spread awareness along with the Carnival spirit,” said John Rodrigues. A unique float creating awareness about disability saw several from the Disability Rights Association and Haemophilia Society (Panaji branch) take part on wheelchairs. “Our goal is to make people aware about the need forinclusivity, accessibility and empowerment of the disabled,” said Prakash Kamat, member of Goa state advisory board for disability. Sahil Vaingankar from Young Stars Boys in Miramar that depicted a float on COVID awareness said, “Our idea is to create awareness about using masks, following COVID protocol and getting vaccinated.”
Staff ReporterPanajiAfter days of anticipation, the much-awaited Carnival revelry in Goa began on Saturday with the Panaji city hosting the first of the many float parades. This year, the parade was held along the traditional route from the Old Secretariat to the Kala Academy.The street was decked up with masks and streamers giving it a festive look. While the festival promises a long line-up of fun activities to look forward to, the 2022 began on a lacklustre note, with the parade that was scheduled to commence at 3 p.m. only starting off post 4.30 p.m.The floats lined up near the Ribandar Causeway made their way into the city after the flag-off. King Momo Emiliano Dias read out his decree declaring fun, frolic and merrymaking for the four days of Carnival in Goa. He is said to be inspired by Momos from Greek mythology, a figure that represents satire and mockery, two things that were essentially original to Carnival in the earlier days.Over the years, the parade has boasted of big flashy floats with much dancing and revelry. This time around however, the floats were few and far in between. Long gaps between floats led to people losing interest in watching the parade. Otherwise, the gaps would be covered up with dancers dancing in gusto.Carnival has been attracting tourists for years now, but for the regulars, this year was not as interesting and entertaining. Crowds entertained themselves with just taking group selfies with Carnival masks, and dancing among themselves.On a positive note, there seemed to be a greater focus on environment themes in the parade. Several floats depicted issues, Goa’s heritage and culture, while there were floats of commercial brands too.Spectators however gave mixed reactions over the float parade. Anshu Singh from Dehradun said, “It is very nice. People have depicted social issues in a very creative way. Each float comes with a message for the public, from protecting wildlife to the importance of following safety rules. There’s a lot of enthusiasm around. It’s celebrations like these that bring people together. This was my first time watching the Panaji Carnival”“I think it could have been much better. There could have been more dance, more creativity – like the Carnival in Brazil. I am born and brought up in Goa, I have seen the Carnivals of the past and this time there’s nobody dancing, there’s barely any music. I think it could have been better this year. We came here at 3 p.m. and the Carnival started hours later at 5.30 p.m,” said Siddesh Dalvi from Panaji.“This is my second time watching the Carnival. The last time I watched the Carnival was in 2006. Back then, it was more local and culture-oriented. Now you see bigger floats, sponsorships, lots of noise. This time, however, it looks like there are more people interested – the participation of people is much better. This is probably because for the past two years all were at home. Overall there’s a very festive atmosphere,” said V. P. Singh from Dehradun.“I think after COVID-19 this was the one thing that brought happiness in everyone’s life. I saw a lot of people enjoying and having a good time. The last Carnival I attended was four years back so this one is a collective carnival of four years in one package. This time, most of the floats have a message, for example, I saw a lot of floats with the message ‘Say No To Drugs’. There were also floats relating to nature and Goan tradition. Instead of just showing flashy things they have put thoughts into the floats that will give out a message to the audience,” said Minal Rathore from Bambolim.Anita Lingankar from Vasco said, “Ever since I was a child I always wanted to see the floats in Panaji. The floats here come from various places. I was so excited even though the event was delayed. It was totally worth it.”“I was most excited to show my family the Carnival. The delay has however spoiled our moods. From whatever I have seen the floats are not that great,” said Rishi Borker from Margao.“I have never seen such a festival. It is so amazing to be in Goa. I was most excited to see the dances and the traditional occupations of Goa. The atmosphere here is totally different,” said Nikita Singh from Pune.“I have been working in Goa for the past five years and never had come to see the floats so I thought of coming this time. I waited for around 30 minutes even though I came quite late. But the wait was worth it. The different acts put up were also very nice,” said Tarasenjit, from Kolkata.
Panaji: Amidst a massive exercise to evacuate Indian students from Ukraine, the Indian Navy displayed its amphibious reach at the Vasco Carnival parade, depicting Operation Samudra Setu, which helped repatriate Indians in May 2020 during the Covid-19 lockdown. “The tableau depicted the amphibious transport dock ship, INS Jalashwa, taking part in ‘Operation Samudra Setu’ that was conducted by the Navy to bring relief, succour and medical aid to numerous Indians residing in India and other nations in the region when Covid-19 was declared a serious global pandemic,” the Indian Navy said in a brief statement. As part of the carnival festivities, the navy also presented a short skit and a live band performance. The Indian Navy’s contribution in supporting the Centre’s regional outreach, in the form of repatriating Indian citizens, transporting oxygen tanks and delivering 170 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines to friendly nations under the ‘Vaccine Maitri’ initiative was the highlight of the display.
Ponda: After a year’s break, Carnival was celebrated on a low key in Ponda with only seven tableaux participating in the parade. Of these, the tableau depicting the cruelty of frog poaching took centre stage. The Carnival was organised in a short duration without government aid, sources in the Ponda Carnival Festival Committee said. President of the committee, Agostin Fernandes, said that they had invited all tableaux to participate and had only paid them transport allowance. No prizes were distributed as the committee had no government aid, he said. King Momo Andrew Fernandes and Queen Momo Angelina Fernandes led the parade. The Carnival parade received a huge response for the people of Ponda with a large number of children seen in attendance. Seven junk cars/clowns also participated in the parade that followed the route from Tisk to the old bus stand.
Ponda: With no government aid in sight, the Ponda Carnival Festival Committee has resolved to organise its own Carnival float on Tuesday and has sought financial help from locals to do so. With no funds, prizes may not be given for participating teams, but the committee will bear the transportation expenses of tableaux, the committee’s president Agostinho Fernandes told reporters. “With no help coming from the government, some like-minded people met on Friday evening and resolved to celebrate the festival on their own,” Fernandes said. “We have sought financial help from people to hold the float parade. The name of the King Momo will be finalised by Sunday.” tnn
Ponda: Despite the government not including Ponda as a venue for the official Carnival celebration, people of Ponda under the banner of Ponda Carnival Committee managed to organise a parade with zest and pomp on Tuesday.Though the number of floats was not on par with the government-organised Carnival, enthusiasm among the participants as well as the crowd was high.The Carnival parade which kick-started from Tisk Ponda was flagged off by the former PMC chairperson Vishwanath Dalvi and committee president AgostinFernandes culminated at the old bus stand. The parade saw participation of around 8 floats and 6 individual artists.Floats mostly depicted traditional occupations of the state, while some depicted messages about protecting the environment and species in nature.It is interesting to note that since 2007 Carnival celebration in Ponda was done under the Christmas Celebration Committee but later the state government had started an official celebration. But for the past two years, the Goa Tourism Department has removed Ponda town from its Carnival celebration venue list. Taking note of the same, this year citizens of Ponda have joined together and have hosted its own Carnival.
Staff ReporterPondaAlthough Ponda city is not on the itinerary list of the tourism department for the official celebration of Carnival, citizens have joined hands to hold a parade of tableaux in the city on March 1, 2022.Ponda Carnival festival committee president Agostinho Fernandes told media persons at a press conference that the Carnival parade was held in Ponda since 2007 under the banner of the Christmas celebration committee.Later, the state government started official celebration of the festival inthe city.However, the department delisted Ponda from the official celebration for the past two years.Taking note of the same, this year citizens of Ponda have come together to host its own Carnival parade.Citizens will fund the celebration; there will not be any prizes for the participating tableaux.Special floats from various parts of the state will be invited to participate in the parade. Moreover, tableaux fromthe people of Ponda will also take part in the event, Fernandes saidThe parade will begin its journey at Tisk-Ponda at 4.30 p.m., and will culminate at the old bus stand.
Panaji: Proud owners of some well-maintained vintage, classic and Indian heritage cars took to the streets in their vehicles at the vintage vehicle rally held as part of the four-day Panaji Carnival festivities. Organised by the Goa Vintage and Classic Automobile Club, the convoy had a fleet of more than 50 cars and two-wheelers and over 20 Harley Davidson bikers. It was flagged off on Sunday from the Samba Square at the Jardin Garcia de Orta. Mapusa-based Ryan Braganza, who took two of his Morris Minors to the rally, said that meeting with other car enthusiasts was the highlight of the event for him. “There is always tremendous response from other vintage car lovers, but this time there was also keen interest from youngsters who wanted to know more about this genre of automobiles. A growing interest among the youth is important to maintain the enthusiasm in vintage vehicles,” he said. Among the four-wheelers that participated were a green Hindustan Motors Contessa, a Premiere Padmini, a green Chevrolet truck, a bright yellow Volkswagen, a red Dodge Motors vehicle and a Mercedes car. Pradeep Naik, who organised the very first vintage car rally in 2004, said that Sunday’s rally brought “excitement to the Carnival celebrations in Panaji and kept the spirits high.”
Staff ReporterPanajiThe citizens of Panajiwitnessed a number of vintage cars, right from a Hindustan Motors Contessa to a green Chevrolet truck and a convoy of bikes driving past their homes on the second day of the Panaji Carnival festivity on Sunday.The classic vehicles were part of the Vintage Car Drive which was flagged off, by Ravi Dhawan, MD and CEO of Imagine Panaji Smart City, Agnelo Fernandes, Commissioner of the City of Panaji, Vivek Parsekar of CCP, Pradeep Naik, from the Samba Square as part of the Panaji city Carnival celebrations.Organised by Goa Vintage and Classic Automobile Club, led by Pradeep Naik, the convoy was led by a fleet of 20 plus Harley Davidson bikers followed by 50 plus vintage bikes and cars. Well-kept Mercedes cars, a bright yellow Volkswagen,Premiere Padmini and a red Dodge Motors were part of the convoy.The fleet of vehicles drove across the city right up to Dona Paula and converged back at the Samba Square.Proud owners of some of Goa’s most well-kept and swanky vintage cars took to the streets to proudly drive their vehicles around the city.
Margao: Every year, on the second day of the Carnival, an all-male group and all Catholics, decked in traditional attire—dhoti, jacket, pagdi, ghungroos on the left foot, a ghumot (a local percussion instrument) hanging from the neck and carrying a mussoll (pestle)—start gathering at a small chapel, a few metres away from the ruins of the ancient Chandreshwar temple at Chandor. The silence of the moonless night is broken by the clanging of bells. After they light the candles and recite a prayer before the cross, the predominantly Catholic village hears the war cry and a loud invocation to Lord Shiva and Hindu goddesses. And then the group breaks into a dance by pounding the pestles into the ground. The dance over, the performers then march in procession holding lit torches to the St Tiago chapel, a little farther away, where the sequence is repeated. From here, they march from house to house performing the mussoll dance or the musllam khel to the accompaniment of percussion instruments as they sing the mussoll song. “It’s a ritual that has been kept alive by the residents,” said 80-year-old Laurenco Antao, a retired teacher from the village. “The dance is performed by Chandor’s Chardo gaonkars (the descendants of the original founders of the village commune). It’s unique to Chandor.” The village would resonate with the song: Hariharacho fell(u) fellota / fell durgabhair(i) xinvorota oh… (It’s Harihara's dance. Harihara’s dance is swirling outside the fort walls…) “The dance used to be performed with much more zest and gusto during our younger days. As most of the gaonkars have now relocated to other places, and very few surviving from the older generation, the zeal and excitement associated with the event is now missing. However, it is heartening to see many from the new generation participating in the khel,” said Antao. The dance, with minor variations, is also performed at the neighbouring Cavorim ward, on the third day of the Carnival. The ritual, however, begs a question: What has the mussoll dance, essentially rooted in Hindu tradition and character, anything to do with Carnival? Historians are of the view that the dance came to Goa during the Kadamba dynasty whose capital was Chandrapur, as Chandor was once known. The dance was always performed by the kshatriyas (warrior caste). However, following their conversion into Christianity during the Portuguese regime, it persisted as a cultural expression of the Chardos of Chandor. The late Zenaides Morenas, a researcher from Chandor, has attempted to provide a historical perspective to the tradition in his monograph ‘Mussol Dance of Chandor.’ “The most popular Goan Hindu festival is Shigmo, which falls in the month of Phalguna of the Hindu calendar. The mussoll dance, which is essentially Hindu in character, came to be associated with Carnival as it precedes the Christian Lenten season and invariably falls in the month of Phalguna,” wrote Morenas. Attempting to illuminate the dance form that offers a peep into the rich history of Goa and its ancient capital Chandrapur, Morenas wrote that the dance is based on the story of the legendary prowess of the ancient kshatriyas from whom the Christian Chardos of Chandor, as elsewhere in Goa, descend. “The mussoll dance is performed near the village mandd (the mandda khuris or religious corner meeting place, from where the musoll dance begins, derives its name from the nearby ancient site of the Chandreshwar temple which now lies in ruins and where the village mandd once stood). It is an enactment of the kshatriya story that must have been dramatically exhibited in the sabha mandap of the royal temple of Lord Chandreshwar at Cota, whose ruins, to date, are a reminder of the splendor of the old city—a story that would have been dramatised with as many variations as the circumstances of the time permitted. Since the conversion of the kshatriyas into Christianity, the dance has persisted as a continuing cultural expression of Chandor’s chardos,” Morenas explained. He further attempted to lend an interesting perspective to the tradition: “This continuity evokes dimly the ancient kshatriya yajmana’s supreme role in ritualistic and sacrificial performances. It also evokes the pre-Aryan religio-cultural ethos rooted in the worship of Mother Earth, a cult successfully integrated in Hindu religious practice in the form of Shakti worship. The significance related to Hindu mythology found in the invocation of Lord Shiva, which asks for his blessings and the gift of the sat shegun, or seven cardinal virtues, brings together two incongruous situations in the use of the mussoll (pestle), primarily employed by womenfolk for pounding rice and now as instrument used by menfolk in a martial dance. It is implicit, then, that while women must carry on their domestic chores of husking and pounding the rice, men must fight and destroy the enemy to ensure the safety of home and city.” Meanwhile, at Cota, as dusk melts into night, the strains of the mussoll song ascend in pitch even as the crowd swells to witness the pestle dance. Ishwara Ishwara Harihara Om/Sat Sheguna, Gaja Gauri Om! (Hail the supreme artist O Lord Shiva, infuse us with the seven cardinal virtues. May thine consort riding on a brilliant elephant enrich us with her grace, O Lord!)
Staff ReporterMargaoThousands showed up for the Carnival float parade in Margao town on the second day of the festivity in the state. Floats, some with dance troupes and others with social messages, were aplenty at the parade.Families and tourists thronged the Margao- Fatorda road to watch the float parade. Organised by the tourism department in association with the Margao Municipal Council, the chief guest for the parade was former footballer Brahmanand Shankhwalkar, while the guests of honour were South Goa Collector Ruchika Katyal, Additional Collector Surendra Naik and Sanjeet Rodrigues, Justice Manish Pitale and Principal District Judge (South Goa) Irshad Agha. Welcoming the public, MMC chief officer Agnelo Fernandes, who led the Carnival committee, said, “I welcome everyone to the Carnival celebrations and especially acknowledge the presence of our chief guest and guests of honour. I thank all the people for attending the Carnival.”Floats that participated in the parade included dance troupes including those of traditional Goan dancers as well as youngsters dancing to popular songs. Also there were floats depicting issues like pollution, the need to reduce use of plastics and saving the wildlife. Large floats containing wild animals including eagles, gorillas and tigers were another highlight of the parade.
Panaji: The move to hold the traditional Carnival parade along the capital’s arterial road, the original route along the Mandovi river, triggered a massive traffic snarl across Panaji on Saturday, leaving commuters and residents fuming and sweltering. With the four lane DB Marg closed for traffic, vehicles were diverted and squeezed into the narrow internal lanes of Panaji, thus giving rise to chaos in the evening. Goa police personnel struggled to control and coordinate the traffic flow, largely because clueless tourists and impatient motorists refused to adhere to the instructions, they said. Panaji’s main thoroughfares, 18th June road, MG road, Atmaram Borkar and Dada Vaidya Road were swamped with vehicles. To make matters worse, the parade, which was to begin at 3:30pm commenced much later, at 4:50pm. “Motorists were being reckless, particularly two-wheelers, who were riding on the pavements. People were impatient. Some roads were temporarily made into one ways because of the parade, but tourists were not aware of this,” said a person who witnessed the carnival parade and the ensuing traffic chaos. A massive traffic jam was also witnessed at the Chimbel junction along the Old Goa Kadamba plateau bypass. Traffic ground to a halt after a couple of two-wheelers collided with each other. “There was an accident between two motorcycles. Both riders had simple injuries. We immediately sent our vehicle and cleared the area,” said a police officer stationed at the Old Goa police station. However, poor road engineering, particularly the creation of a bottleneck at the major junction added to the chaos.“An incomplete service road has been opened, creating further confusion near Chimbel chapel. This service road has been haphazardly opened escalating traffic situation,” said Deepali Desai, who was stranded in the traffic jam. Police personnel said that the route witnessed heavy traffic due to the closure of the Ponte de Linhares causeway that links the Panaji to Ribandar. “It may be because of the floats, because there was heavy traffic,” said one cop.
Colva/Panaji: A large number of domestic tourists have arrived in Goa to be part of the colorful Carnival festivities, which formally commenced with a float parade flagged off by King Momo in Panaji on Saturday. Carnival celebrations are being held after a gap of two years. The rise in tourist footfalls has also come as a boon to the hotel industry with a majority of hotels boasting over 80% occupancy and some even operating at full capacity. “Apart from Carnival festivities, it is also a long weekend with Mahashivratri on Tuesday and thus, there has been a big rise in footfalls,” Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG) president Nilesh Shah told TOI. He said most starred and non-starred hotels are at over 80% occupancy. Shah said this good run is expected to continue into March with it being the wedding season. “ I have checked with several hotels and they are fully booked for the next month as well,” he said. Shack owners are also overjoyed at the upswing in business. On the flip side however, with Covid taking a downturn, many of those at the Panaji Carnival were seen violating Covid SOPs. Most were, in fact, without a mask. “Not just the government, people too should think about curbing the pandemic. We must exercise caution as it is not only about getting infected, but also transmitting the virus to others,” a tourist, Harish, said. While batting for responsible tourism, another visitor said he hoped that those visiting Goa are fully vaccinated with both vaccine doses. “We have come here to enjoy. Due to Omicron, I did not expect to have so much fun on this trip, but with the marked decline in Covid cases, we feel safe,” a tourist from Telengana, Ankita, said.
Staff ReporterPanajiFrancisco Martins, who has a track record of winning the first place for his float for seven consecutive years from 1974 to 1980, is still very much involved with the Carnival festivities. Having been asked to set up 40 stalls in the Carnival theme outside INOX Courtyard, for the Beach Carnival, Martins enjoys such challenges.Just before the parade could start, he was getting a float ready for Goa Police, and even though he said it was at the last minute, he didn’t want to deter or dampen anyone’s festive spirit.“Carnival has gotten bigger and better in terms of organisation and size of floats, but yes, somehow, the charm Carnival had is not like before with singing and dancing. Today everyone relies on recorded music and the sound system required is a lot, and there’s a lot of money required,” he says.Martins, who has also earned prizes for Goa at the Republic Day parade in Delhi, including five first prizes believes that the Tourism Department and stakeholders have to retain the charm of Carnival.
Staff ReporterVascoA huge traffic jam was seen from Verna junction to Cortalim and on the Agassaim bypass on Saturday. The work on the bridge has led to thetraffic jam on one side of the road.The jam started from 3 p.m. on Saturday after vehicles moved in the same direction.The officials from Vasco traffic cell said that, the work on the bridge is going on andvehicular movement was stopped on one side of the road.People were seen moving to Panaji from South Goa to see the carnival.Deepak Kumar travelling from Vasco said, “My family wanted to see the Panaji carnival but we have lost half of the carnival due to the traffic jam.”
Vasco: The traditional dramatic art form of khel tiatrs (folk plays) will be a major attraction at this year’s Carnival celebration at Vasco. The three-day celebration will be held from February 27 to March 1. “Khel tiatrs highlighting various socio-cultural issues will be held at various locations across Mormugao taluka, up to Cortalim,” Vasco Carnival committee chairman Jayant Tari said, adding that the festivities will also give locals a platform to present their talent. On February 28, the float parade will commence at 3pm near St Andrew’s church. The floats will wind through the city and culminate at the Vasco railway station road. On the last day, March 1, a dance competition will be held at 6.30pm, followed by a musical show at 7pm. A performance by a band has been scheduled for 8.30pm. South Goa collector Ruchika Katyal will be the chief guest at the concluding function. Tari said that nearly 60 municipal workers are busy making arrangements for the Vasco Carnival. Traffic arrangements have also been sorted out. Prizes for the various competitions have been sponsored by the tourism department.
A s the date of the Carnival approaches, Goa is getting ready to receive its Carnival king – Emeliano Dias from Raia in South Goa. Emeliano is super excited about the Carnival, which will be held from February 26 to March 1. He tells us, “I can’t wait for the festivities to begin. After I got selected, the next day I went to give the measurements for my costume – it’s a great feeling.” Over the last two years, the pandemic has played spoilsport and the new King Momo wants people to enjoy these four days. “I want people to be happy and have fun, but at the same time be cautious and follow safety protocols – wear masks, maintain safe distance and use sanitisers.” The selection was very tough, he says, “There were six participants and to be selected King Momo has been not just a privilege but also a matter of pride. The committee interviewed each one of us for almost 20 minutes. It was very interesting to participate.” With many youth being a part of this year’s Carnival, Emeliano tells us, “Youth must be given a role to display their talents and they must be encouraged too.” He boasts about his performance in Bardroy Barretto’s Nachom-ia Kumpasar, where he performed as a musician in the band. “I’ve also worked in other local movies but they didn’t have as great a response as what Nachom-ia Kumpasar had.”
Panaji: The mythological ‘King Momo’ was not a part of the traditional Goa Carnival festivities and the character came into existence much later when float parades became an integral part of the popular event, according to a cultural expert.The concept of float parades was started by the state tourism department in 1970s when the character of King Momo was also formally introduced, a department official said.The four-day Carnival will begin in Goa on Saturday when the first float parade will be held in Panaji.The festivities are held every year before the 40-day Lent period of the Christian community.The tourism department invites applications from people who desire to be ‘King Momo’ and conducts auditions before making the final selection.For this year’s celebration, South Goa resident Emiliano Dias will be King Momo to lead the float parade.“There was no King Momo earlier, it was more of people’s participation; there was no theme as such. People used to enjoy by putting colour on each other, throwing water, and different entertainment activities were held,” Goa’s noted cultural expert Maendra Alvares said.The traditional Carnival was all about people’s participation, he said.During the Portuguese era (before 1961), the floats never existed. People used to go around on bullock carts, he said.“This later took the shape of floats and various commercial establishments started sponsoring the event,” said Alvares.The traditional Carnival is marked by theatre art form ‘Khel’, which is a kind of satirical play.
The pandemic has been tough on many. During the pandemic many people have turned into foodpreneurs, opening small-scale, ‘at-home’ businesses offering a variety of food. These ventures are largely driven by passion. The Panjim City Carnaval has decided to put the spotlight on foodpreneurs this year in an effort by the city to encourage them and offer the foodpreneurs a platform to showcase their creations. The Beach Carnaval at Miramar beach will offer foodpreneurs and aspiring chef entrepreneurs a platform to exhibit and promote their ideas, products, and talent to a diverse audience that visits the Panjim carnival festivities each year. The event will also portray the culture, heritage, and welcoming spirit of Goa. The event will feature foodpreneurs ranging from home cooks, women micro entrepreneurs, pastry and bakery enthusiasts and other hobbyists in the culinary ecosystem. We aim to provide a platform to showcase the local and regional cooking talent to the audiences of the carnival.
Staff ReporterPanajiIn order to provide a stage for ‘foodpreneurs’ to showcase their culinary skills and bring them into spotlight, a platform will be provided to them at the newly-renovated walkway along the Miramar beach during the beach Carnival slated from February 26 to March 1.Commissioner of the Corporation of City of Panaji Agnelo Fernandes along with Rajesh Joshi, CEO from Atal Incubator Centre at Goa Institute of Management, and Kamaxi College of Culinary Arts, Verna, Parixit Pal Fondekar, founder of Fierce Kitchen and others, revealed that the city Carnival committee has decided to provide a platform for the foodpreneures. Abhishek Singh and CCP ME Vivek Parsekar were also present.They said that 50 food stalls with different kinds of food catering to the taste buds of visitors, domestic tourists and international visitors. Besides a Vintage car rally willalso be held.“In addition to food stalls, there will be live music entertaining the visitors. Local brands will be playing regional music in Konkani and English,’’ they informed.Stating that the idea is to promote Goa and its food, they said, “The beach Carnival at Miramar will offer foodpreneurs and aspiring chef entrepreneurs a platform to exhibit their ideas, products, and talents to a diverse audience. The event will also portray the culture, heritage, and welcoming spirit of Goa. The foodpreneurs will range from home cooks, women micro entrepreneurs, pastry and bakery enthusiasts and other hobbyists in the culinary ecosystem.”They maintained that the Corporation has partnered with Fierce Kitchen, the country’s first culinary incubator based in Goa which is a collaboration between the Atal Incubator Centre at Goa Institute of Management (AIC-GIM) and Kamaxi College of Culinary Arts (KCCA), Verna.“The city of Panaji is a leading tourists destination and a melting pot for global cuisine. From fine dining restaurants to culinary trails which offer unique experiences in intimate setting of residents’ homes, Panaji has much to offer. The beach carnival event with the foodpreneurs community at its core will add to the culinary experiences which Panaji has to offer,” they observed.They revealed, “On behalf of the city of Panaji and with the strong support and expertise of Fierce Kitchens and AIC-GIM, we are keen to nominate Panaji as one of the creative cities in the gastronomy sector of the `UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN). The Beach Carnival is a first step in that direction,”they added.
Panaji: The Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) has decided to do something different for Carnival this year apart from the traditional float parade. It will host a ‘Beach Carnaval’ along the renovated Miramar beach walkway from February 23 till March 1 by partnering with FIERCE Kitchens, a culinary incubator based in Goa. The Beach Carnaval will be a dedicated zone for local culinary entrepreneurs or ‘foodpreneurs’ and CCP commissioner Agnelo Fernandes said that it “will feature a host of local entrepreneurs who will exhibit their culinary creations”. He said that during the pandemic many people have turned into foodpreneurs, opening smallscale, at-home businesses offering a variety of foods. “They are largely driven by passion. The event will bring them into the spotlight.” Parixit Pai Fondekar, founder of FIERCE Kitchens, said Panaji is a melting pot of global cuisine. “From fine dining restaurants to culinary trails which offer unique experiences, Panaji has much more. The Beach Carnaval will add to people’s culinary experiences,” he said. The event will also portray the culture, heritage and welcoming spirit of Goa. Foodpreneurs ranging from home cooks, female micro entrepreneurs, pastry and bakery enthusiasts to other hobbyists of the culinary ecosystem are expected to be part of the event. Local bands will play Konkani and English music.
Goa is gearing up for the Carnival from February 26 to March 1. the festivities will differ from previous years where, apart from the float parade, there will also be a series of events such as bazaars, beach carnival, art and craft sessions and workshops, creative games, stray dog adoption zone and much more. a different Carnival vibe “The city of Panaji had always had a unique vibe to it. The Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) has planned a series of events across the city along with industry stakeholders, citizens and community champions. This season we have extended the spirit of Carnival across the city with the Samba Square at the centre of Panaji and The Beach Carnival at Miramar. In addition, cycle tours and walking trails will be held in the city. The four-day extravaganza will include a vintage car rally, a mobile alvorada winding down the streets, culinary food and heritage trails, pop-up eateries, music and dance,” says Agnelo Fernandes, commissioner of the City of Panaji. newbies to take Charge this year This year the committee consists of people from different age groups. “The youth play an important role in shaping the future and this year we have both young and experienced participants. Francisco Martins, Tony Dias and others have been mentoring and guiding the teams. Now it is time for the next generation to learn and take it forward,” says Agnelo. Mackenzie Pereira, an entrepreneur, DJ and adviser to the committee from Panaji, says, “Since I’m in the entertainment industry it has been a great time. The youth should get involved as they bring in new ideas and suggestions which ultimately bring out the best in any event. The Samba Square this year will feature food trucks too, which will be aesthetically beautiful. Foodpreneurs to feature at the Beach Carnaval The Beach Carnaval will feature local entrepreneurs who can put up their culinary creations at the venue. “A dedicated zone is being created for local culinary entrepreneurs or foodpreneurs to encourage them and offer them a platform to showcase their creations,” says Prahlad Sukhatankar, restaurateur and a committee member. But what about the stall charges? These stalls will be fee of charge as it is a platform for foodpreneurs.” While the committee plans to give the foodpreneurs a chance, the funds for the Beach Carnaval will mostly be pooled in from the other events. “The charges for the stalls at Samba Square are around `40,000 for four days and there might be over 25 stalls. We are getting a lot of entries for the Beach Carnaval and there will be a selection round too,” informs a person from the committee.
City to host a slew of programmes for publicPanaji: Emeliano P. Dias, who hails from Raia, has been selected as King Momo for the annual four-day Carnival festival to be held in Goa from February 26 to March 1.Interacting with media persons, tourism director Menino D’Souza informed that a total of seven contestants had applied and, after an audition, the panel constituted by the tourism department selected Dias, who has acted in a few dramas and movies.“I would like to keep this tradition going forward which was started by our ancestors. I am extremely delighted for the opportunity given to me to lead Goa Carnival,” Dias said.He appealed to the Carnival revellers to adhere to COVID-19 norms while participating in the annual Carnival float parade.Meanwhile, the Miramar beach venue, that was planned for Carnival programme, has been shifted opposite the Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG) on Mandovi river front promenade to accommodate visitors comprising locals, domestic as well as international tourists, revealed the Commissioner of the Corporation of City of Panaji, Agnelo Fernandes.Speaking to this daily, the commissioner informed that earlier venue of Miramar beach has been shifted to a new spot opposite the ESG where the annual Ashtami fair is set up.Fernandes stated that only this venue has been shifted while rest everything will be the same. Around 50 food stalls will be set up serving different Goan foods.“Any stall owner desiring to serve liquor- feni or urrack shall obtain licence from the excise department,” he noted.While at Samba Square, there will be live music and exotic food available, besides a fun zone for kids and fancy dress competition for adults and children.Also there will be a traditional Clube Nacional ‘Red and Black’ dance on the closing day, said the commissioner.Leading music bands will be in attendance while the world-acclaimed Bondo will entertain visitors with his special musical instruments on the occasion, he added.
Margao: Margao Municipal Council (MMC) will organise Carnival celebrations on February 27. A committee headed by MMC chief officer Agnelo Fernandes with municipal engineer Manoj Arsekar as secretary, and assistant engineer Vishant Naik as treasurer, has been constituted for the purpose. Fernandes held a meeting with senior officials from several government departments, including tourism department, traffic police, health department, Hospicio hospital, and others to ensure effective coordination and smooth organisation of the event. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Fernandes said that this year the Carnival will be organised on the theme, Goa’s tradition. The event will be held by following all pandemic SOPs and guidelines of the state government. Padma Shri awardee Brahmanand Shankhwalkar will be invited as the chief guest for the event, Fernandes said. “Goa has rich cultural traditions with folklore representing 50 major folk forms, besides rich linguistic and sociolinguistic heritage, glorious history of maritime trade and commerce and cosmopolitan lifestyle, ancient ecotheological, nature worship and ecofeminist tradition, unique socio-cultural and economic institution of gaunkaris or comunidades. We hope to depict some of these aspects of our tradition in the Carnival floats,” Fernandes said. Floats depicting liquor will not be allowed in the parade. Nearly Rs 7 lakh prize money will be given to the winners, it was informed.
PANAJI: The city’s streets will be decorated with the colours of Carnival between February 26 and March 1. This year’s celebrations will also see added venues—the newly renovated walkway along Miramar beach among others—in a bid to space out the crowd. The float parade will kickstart at 3pm and will feature tableaux in the categories of traditional, club and institutions, family, junk and jokers. “The Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) has planned a series of events across the city, along with industry stakeholders, citizens and community champions. Like previous years, this year too, citizens, establishments and the city authorities will join forces to celebrate and revive the nostalgia of the years gone by,” said CCP commissioner Agnelo Fernandes. The centrally-located Jardin Garcia de Orta will transform into the Samba Square during the four-day celebration in Panaji. In addition, cycle tours and walking trails will be held in the city. “The food and beverage trade community has come together to support the city authorities in their efforts. Hotels, restaurants and culinary hotspots have planned to bring the flavour of the carnival into their establishments by curating special carnival-theme menus and decor,” said Taj Group of Hotels area director Vincent Ramos. A host of food stalls and culinary pop-ups have also been planned at the Samba Square and the Miramar beachfront. A dedicated zone is being created for local culinary entrepreneurs or ‘foodpreneurs’ in an effort by the city to encourage them and offer a platform to showcase their creations, said Panaji-based restaurateur Prahlad Sukhatankar. Introduced by the Portuguese over 500 years ago, the four-day Carnival celebration is an annual festivity that takes place three days before Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of the Lenten season observed by the Catholic community. Apart from active participation by locals, Carnival festivities also draw tourists from across the country.
Panaji: The state government will organise Carnival in Goa from February 26, beginning with a float parade in Panaji. An official of the tourism department, which organises the festival, said that the parades will be held “following Covid protocols and the model code of conduct”. Also, “commercial floats or floats on commercial themes will not be allowed,” he said. After the Panaji parade, Carnival will move to Margao on February 27, followed by Vasco on February 28 and Mapusa on March 1. This year, float parades have been limited to four towns as requests have not been received from municipal councils in other towns. “It is better to have parades at four places only. If we have parades at more places, and since we have to conclude the celebrations within four days, we have to hold parades at two towns simultaneously,” the official said. The parades are held with the assistance of the respective municipal councils. The tourism department, the official said, will give Panaji, Margao and Vasco Rs 20 lakh each as infrastructure assistance, whereas Mapusa will be given Rs 15 lakh. Prize money for each town has been Rs 7.5 lakh. The department, he said, will shortly advertise seeking applications to choose a King Momo to symbolically kick-start the festive period.