As always I can’t help getting emotionally invested in my stories on Saligao! This one touched my soul in indescribable ways! Just take a look at the village folks 

gathered here ..all in groups of friends and family enjoying singing dancing tapping and clapping! 

Standing from afar they look to me like an oddly shaped mosaic piece trying to find a coherent pattern! Losing myself in this beautiful drama unfolding at our Mae de Deus church …I FIND it! 

I’ve just put together all the bits of this mosaic puzzle into a recognizable face of our very own SALIGAOKARS!

I can see a Sea of faces in the blazing sun this year! I can hear the Sound of music and I can smell AAAAAHHHHH

Once again San Joao….Vangodd de Saligao and I have crossed paths. A few  family groups contributed some piping hot husk stained grain rice which was served on plates made from leaves! God bless them! 

 A few more groups  cooked Sambarichi Kodi from freshly plucked village coconuts scraped and ground with spices and tamarind to perfection. 

Some prepared the Kismur and pickles the aromatic flavours are a bit addictive to most…while I did see a few youngsters (+ a few tourists who strayed into our event having got sucked in by the vibe) who are used to fast food, look with disgust as if they were punched in the gut! A cultural betrayal. 

Some families contributed mangoes,  pineapple and jackfruit. I got myself an extra helping of VON for a price of a photograph which I promised the lady. There was pude, .. different jams ,sanna, Pez Tisreo,pickles, Godse  Von and melghor!

The airwaves were filled with music of the talent  from our village many of whom are learning music in church/ school or privately but here they were boldly displaying their talent with no hang-ups… playing various instruments like Braz Gonsalves! The roar of the sea waves churning from the monsoon winds complimented them in the distance not too far away. 

It’s easy to find Goa on the internet…There are stories, Cartoons, jokes, recipes,  photographs and more but if you want to experience the FEELING ..the VIBE ..the Aroma..just like how our ancestors lived by…then be a part of these festivals! (Except there is NO BOOZE…we don’t need it)

Many Cultures EVOLVE…get lost..But us is here to STAY. While I am a proud Indian and I don’t have to ring our church bell to announce that…. I love these festivals for they help me connect to our UNIQUE Goan culture which has taught us what freedom of EXPRESSION means!!

It also allows the Goan diaspora to enjoy Goa’s distinctive treasure while it still exists!

It is going to STAY!
Written & photography by Clarice Vaz 


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