Doha, Nov 28: World Goa Day 2023 was held with pomp and gaiety on 24th November 2023 at the Al Rayyan Resort Club Housethat went berserk in applause and burst into celebration organized by the Goan Welfare Association (GWA), Qatar.As much as it was a day for the guests to celebrate and take pride, the event turned out to be an enthralling day. While the event highlighted Goan art, culture, traditions, language, music, and cuisine.
A goodly jam-packed crowd had a time of their life, so much to cheer right through the afternoon till late evening. It was graced by the presence of some prominent personalities. Chief Guest for the event, Aloysius D’Souza, President, Konkani Speaking Community of Our Lady of Rosary Church, Qatar, who is also the President of Mangalore Cultural Association (MCA) spoke highly and congratulated President Simon D’Silva and the Goan Welfare Association of the good work they have been doing over the years. D’Souza also said how Goan Welfare Association and Mangalorean organizations collaborated to organize different events and bring the community together.
The occasion was also graced by Guest of Honours, Deepak Shetty, Vice President, Indian Cultural Benevolent Forum (ICBF) under the aegis of Embassy of India and Subramanya Hebbagelu, Vice President, Indian Cultural Centre (ICC). Both praised GWA of their accomplishments during the COVID time and other contributions towards the Goan community. Deepak Shetty highlighted how Simon worked in collaboration with ICBF, Indian Embassy and the Government of Goa to organize the Chartered Flight for the Goans stranded in Qatar during pandemic.
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. GWA celebrates World Goa Day since 2001. 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.
The last World Goa Day was held in 2019 in Qatar before pandemic and was attended by Ex-Deputy Chief Minister of Goa Chandrakant Babu Kavlekar, Portuguese Ambassador to Qatar, Late Ricardo Pracana and Former Indian Ambassador HE P. Kumaran, who was instrumental in supporting Goan Welfare Association in their activities and community services. Also, a special video message from the Chief Minister, Dr. Pramod Sawant was shown on a giant screen which touched everyone’s hearts in 2019.
One man Band Morgan Viegas (Ex-Alcatraz) kept everyone feet tapping by a mix of popular music and was well supported by DJ Chris with his scintillating music, mesmerizingthe crowd and a heart ponding sound system. Music is in the blood of DJ Chris who have won many accolades. DJ Flossie who recently joined her husband in Qatar from Saudi Arabia delivered on its promise of exhilarating music and spectacular performances laced with fun, frolic and excitement.
Several exciting spot and lucky prizes were given away to the guests. The lucky winners were Royston and Sarita D’Souza from Singapore, Joaquim Rodrigues, Cajetan Rodrigues, Tony and Jackson. Another notable personality present was Kevin Dias, CEO of Atlas World Services, who was very graceful with his praise and generosity in sponsoring prizes and gifts for the day.
The other star performers were Duo Figo Rodrigues and Viola Pereira and Filomeno Camillo.
The Master of Ceremony was Sebastian Mascarenhas, an established award-winning toastmaster, not only impressed all by his eloquence, but also by his unique sense of humor even performing one of his stand-up comedy acts.
Overall, a day to remember as Goans from many parts of the globe were present had something Goan to Bite in, Goan music to dance with as the saying goes,“You can take a Goan out of Goa, but you cannot take Goa out of a Goan”.
The Goan Welfare Association (GWA), Qatar a non-profitable organisation has been the face and voice of Goans living in the tiny oil-rich country of Qatar for the last 24 years without any doubt, ably led by Simon D’Silva. Since inception, the association has rendered yeoman’s service in nurturing Goan culture and spirit among the large number of Goan expatriates. On a larger note, the association has always been in the forefront of reaching out to various causes, thus setting a shining example to all. It is therefore not astonishing to see them host events with great aplomb and success for morethan two decades.The association is known not only for meticulous planning, but also perfect execution and the annual May Queen Ball has been a true example for this.