Pics: Sunil Crasto
Doha, Nov 27: World Goa Day celebrations are perhaps the only global events that remind Goans of their identity; the festivities provide an opportunity for everyone to dive into the state’s traditional roots and culture.
A top-class World Goa Day show was presented in Qatar at the exotic Al-Masa Ballroom of Holiday Inn, on November 22 in the country’s capital, Doha.
As much as it was a day for Goans to celebrate and take pride, the event turned out to be an enthralling evening for everyone including people of different communities that attended.
All celebrations were centred on the theme ‘Amchim Bhurgim, Amcho Fuddar’ (Our children, our future) that is chosen for the year.
An interesting aspect of the event was the diversity of presentations and presenters.
While the event highlighted Goan art, culture, traditions, language, music, costumes, etc, Goan band R99, which was the star attraction, rocked the event.
The surprise sachet from this group was the 19-year-old girl-drummer Rushz Baracho. Her drumming skills mesmerized everyone.
20 years of existence
The organizer, Goan Welfare Association (GWA), completed 20 years of its existence in Qatar. The event was organized in collaboration with Orbit Events and Marketing.
President Simon D’Silva ensured everyone present was involved in the celebration and had a good time.
A host of delegates from around the world and key Goan representatives from Gulf countries were present at this dine and dinner function which was compered by Kuwait-based former Goan footballer Gasper Crasto.
The event was telecast live on YouTube.
Chief guest and other dignitaries
The historic visit of Dr Pramod Sawant, Chief Minister of Goa, did not materialise but Deputy Chief Minister Chandrakant Babu Kavlekar attended the function as chief guest.
However, a video message sent by the Chief Minister was shown on one of the giant screens put up at the venue.
Also in attendance were P Kumaran, Indian Ambassador to Qatar, and Ricardo Pracana, Portuguese Ambassador to Qatar.
Special invitees who were part of the function included Kuwait’s ‘Airlift Man’ Carmo Santos, President of Goan Cultural Centre, Agnello Fernandes, Senior Vice President of Gulf Custody Co,Kuwait, Ramdas Revadkar, Manager of BITE International, Kuwait, Edson Fernandes, Plant Manager of National Oilwell Varco, Saudi Arabia, Swapnil Shetkar, Film Director, Goa, Suraj Datta Malik, Social Worker, Goa, Ophelia D’Cruz, Fashion Designer and Mahesh Prabhu from Bahrain.
Artistes and performers
Avers Pereira sang a special composed song along with Natcey Barretto and Slenzitta D’Cruz.
Those who performed at the event also included darling of social media Sanio Fernandes from Dubai, who jammed with R99 for some great response from the crowd.
Other artistes who sang popular Goan songs included Gulf Voice of Goa fame Slenzitta D’Cruz, Kuwait’s Esparansa Barretto and Gasper Crasto, and Qatar’s Natcey Barretto, Peppy Pereira, Figo Rodrigues and Viola Pereira.
Felicitations and traditions
A number of students were felicitated on the occasion for their outstanding achievements in sports, music and academics.
The honoured students included Elliot Joseph Monteiro, Stacy Lobo, Cassandra Sonia Noronha, Abeygale Seema Fernandes, Lenora Malaika Fernandes, Jenisha Barretto, Nausheen Panali, Joann Fay D’Souza, Jade Assumption D’Souza, Chynara Joycelyn Rodrigues, Tresica Stella Fernandes and Jade Diane Correia Pires.
Two GWA Managing Committee members, Paul Fernandes, Vice President and Hazel Rodrigues, Director Administration were also felicitated for completing 15 years at the hands of Deputy Chief Minister of Goa.
The members sprang up a surprise by presenting the President Simon D’Silva with a trophy and a gift for leading the association for the last 20 years as its president.
A contingent of dancers performed traditional dances of Goa, which included the prominent Corridinho, Kunbi and Mia Caro.
The fluent performance of the dance left the audience awestruck.
The kunbi dancers were Seema Rodrigues, Bertha Rodrigues, Anuja Arjun Sanguelkar, Shravya Manjrekar, Antonia Rodrigues and Carol Gonsalves, while the young dancers for Corridinho and Mia Caro included Shown Fernandes, Andrea D’Souza, Derik Saldanha, Elena Noronha, Merwyn Ferrao, Gasdy Ferrao, Craig Ferrao, Melissa De Souza, Sean Fernandes and Gina Noronha.
GWA president, who is among some of the most popular Goans residing abroad, spoke about his passion and love in hosting Goa Day and other festivals in Qatar which helps in uniting Goans.
Chief Guest Chandrakant Babu Kavlekar while congratulating the organizers for the grand event requested everyone to use Goa’s mother tongue as much as possible to communicate with each other. He also requested Goans to avail different facilities offered by the government, especially the art and plans of organic farming.
Ricardo Pracana wished happiness for Goa and Goans while recalling the close bond between Portugal and its former colony.
P Kumaran, while extending his help at all times, praised Goan Welfare Association and President Simon D’Silva for the efforts in bringing Goans together in celebration.
Earlier, representatives of different countries were welcomed and put in focus in the centre. Special invitees, chief guests were also welcomed likewise.
Flower bouquets were presented to the chief guest, and guests of honour by Neeta Fernandes, Carie Santos and Nancy D’Silva.
National Anthems of Qatar, Portugal and India were played as a mark of respect.
A specially sent video message of Dr Pramod Sawant was shown on a giant screen which touched everyone’s hearts.
A cake commemorating 20 years of GWA’s existence was cut on the occasion.
The grand event which ran from 7 pm till 2 am was supported by Royal Regis, 360 Realtors, Digital Print Centre, Integral Food Services, Fabindia, Karma Group India, Badr Al Samaa Medical Centre, Andyman Equipment & Services, LTC International Qatar, Mercure Grand Doha, Iplanet Computers, Al Harib Security Sysstems, Radio Olive, Gulf Times, Daijiworld, Prudent Media, Milton Pimenta, Allan De Souza, Joe Cotta, Melwyn Barretto, Agnello A.S. Fernandes, Edson Fernandes, Cajetan Rodrigues, Carmo Santos, Lester Morgan Fernandes, Arjun Sanguelkar, Malik Panali and Unique Sound and Lighting Services.
World Goa Day - What does it mean?
The day was instituted to mark the anniversary of August 20, 1992, a momentous day in Goa’s history, when the Indian Parliament included Konkani in the eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution.
That was the long-awaited day when Konkani got due recognition as an official language in India.
Goans have been celebrating the occasion in different parts of the globe with great pomp, year after year. Qatar Goans surely had a blast this time.
It was a proud moment for Qatar to be part of the celebration and everyone who was there from other countries to be part of the great festivity.