Qatar Goans celebrate World Goa Day

A cultural event in progress at the Doha Goans Sports Club’s World Goa Day celebrations.
Members of the Doha Goans Sports Club recently celebrated World Goa Day with a number of activities at a recent function held at the Doha Municipal Conference Hall. Music and dancing marked the proceedings that attracted a number of community members.
World Goa Day commemorates the anniversary of the inclusion of Konkani in the Indian Constitution in 1992, when it was recognised as one of the official languages in India. The World Goa Day is observed by the Goans worldwide, who take pride in their identity, culture, language, traditions, music and cuisine.
In keeping with tradition, the local event started with the song ‘Goan Ekovt’ (Goan unity) and ended with the ‘Noman Tuka Goa’ (Tribute to Goa). Children, youth and also elders took the centre stage in a four-hour programme, keeping the packed audience glued to their seats until the very end.
Goan cuisine reflects a combination of Indian, Arabian and Portuguese tradition, with a unique blend of both richness and simplicity. The Goan way of life is also unique in that this blend of East and West co-exists peacefully.
And this was most evident in the delicious Goan food, sweets and other traditional items that were on display.
The Club also felicitated winners of an essay writing competition held recently at hotel Grand Mercure, besides community members who have enhanced the Goan image and contributed to the community in Qatar.
The forum president Ambrosio Dias also introduced its new managing committee for 2011 – 2013 and has dedicated his term to empowering women and encouraging the youth. He said: “This is just the beginning. We intend to encourage more children to come forward and explore their talents. Three meritorious children each from Class 10 and Class 12 will be honoured at a function to be held shortly.”

By Dean Nelson, New Delhi
India’s Anglo-Indian community fights for survival
India’s Anglo-Indian community – a legacy of British rule on the subcontinent – is fighting for its survival as increasing numbers of their young men and women marry Indian partners.

Its leaders have announced plans for an India-wide marriage bureau to encourage more marriages within the community amid fears that their distinctive culture could die out.

There are an estimated 500,000 Anglo-Indians throughout the world – including in Britain, Canada, Australia and Pakistan – but in India itself their population has dipped to an estimated 150,000.

At the time of India’s independence in 1947 there were half a million Anglo-Indians in the country.

The community developed from mixed marriages between British officers, squaddies, tea planters and railway workers and local Indian women in the 19th century.

Since then they have developed a unique hybrid culture which carefully preserves a pre-War sense of English identity.
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The largely Christian community has traditionally centred on some of India’s largest cities, including Calcutta, Madras, Bangalore, New Delhi and the Kolar Gold Fields of Karnataka.

Last week it staged a food festival to celebrate its unique cuisine which blends Indian spices with classic English recipes in dishes like Indian Railway Mutton, Dak Bungalow Chicken and Colonel Standhurst’s Beef Curry.

Many of its leading figures have thrived in India’s armed forces, where the current Air Chief Marshal N. A. K Browne is an Anglo-Indian, and in the country’s extensive railways, which they once dominated.

The actor Ben Kingsley, entertainers Sir Cliff Richard and Engelburt Humperdink, and the former Olympic athlete Sebastian Coe, are claimed by the community as some of their highest achievers.

But since India’s independence in 1947 the community in India has gradually dwindled in size and its leaders now believe it is facing a battle for survival unless it can reverse the trend.

Dr Charles Dias, the community’s sole member of the Lok Sabha parliament has launched a new campaign to win greater government support to help preserve its culture and to encourage more Anglo-Indians to marry within their own community.

He met India’s law and minority affairs minister Salman Khurshid to press for land to be allocated for housing estates, new Anglo-Indian cultural centres and reserved places for Anglo-Indians in Indian universities.

The community is currently suffering a housing crisis, he said, because many had lost homes given as part of their jobs in the Indian Railways and could not afford to buy land.

“We’re setting up a marriage bureau because otherwise our Anglo-Indian girls and boys will marry outside and dilute our population and culture.

“Anglo-Indian culture is a good thing, our language, culinary traditions. We are a distinctive community and we must stay together,” he said.

Coconut bhatt

Ingredients :

2 coconuts

1/2 kilo sugar

1/2 kg Rawa

8 eggs

5-6 elaichi

1 teaspoonful baking powder

1/2 teaspoon essence vanila

2 tablespoon desi ghee or any ghee

Preparation :

Grind the coconut on a grinding stone using no water. Grind elachi also. Keep this ground mixture aside. Then take the yolk of eggs and whip the yolk. Put sugar in the egg yolk and stir till the sugar is dissolved. Beat the egg whites till stiff. Put the rawa in the mixture and stir it well, fold in the egg white. Now add the ground coconut and make it a uniform paste. Add essence and baking powder, rest the mixture for 10 mins. Preheat the oven for 10 minutes. Apply ghee to the containers and pour out the mixture in that and keep it in the oven. Keep the oven at 180 -200 degrees. Remove when baked.

Posted By: Albert de Souza , Mapuca Goa .

28/11/2010

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Neureos

Ingredients :

1/2 kg flour

2 tablespoons ghee (or hydrogenated oil)

a pinch of salt

For the filling:

1/2 kg. sugar

1/2 cup water

1 half ripe coconut grated fine

100 g. cashew nuts (chopped very fine)

100 g. raisins

2 tablespoons ghee

6 cardamoms (powdered)

oil for frying

Preparation :

Mix flour, salt and ghee well, add just enough water to knead into a small dough. Keep aside.

Heat sugar and water till a syrup is formed. Add the grated coconut, ghee and nuts. When the mixture has thickened, add raisins and cardamom powder.

Remove from fire after the mixture turns quite dry. Cool and keep aside. Divide the dough into small balls, roll out into thin rounds, put a spoonful of the coconut filling on each round, wet the edges, press down to form half-moon shapes. Trim edges preferably with a cutter and deep fry in hot oil.

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Dodol

Ingredients :

750 gm raw Goa rice

10 large coconuts

2 ½ kg coconut jaggery

2 tbsp sugar

Salt to taste

200 gm cashew nuts, chopped

Preparation :

Grate coconuts and extract coconut milk. To do this, grind the coconut with warm water. Strain this, squeezing the coconut as much as possible to extract the maximum amount of liquid. Discard the coconut leaving only the coconut milk.

Chop the cashew nuts and jaggery.

Sieve the rice flour. Add to the coconut milk. Stir well to avoid lumps.

Place on a slow fire and stir continuously in a deep pan.

After the mixture thickens slightly, add the chopped jaggery and stir. After about 5 minutes, add the chopped nuts.

Keep on stirring till the whole mixture is well thickened and begins to leave the sides of the vessel.

Pour into a greased dish. Leave to cool. Cut and serve.

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Cocada

Ingredients :

1 (half-ripe) coconut

375 grams semolina (sieved)

750 grams sugar

8 cardamons powdered fine

Preparation :

Grate and grind the coconut fine. Make a syrup of the sugar using 1 cup of water.

Then add semolina and the ground coconut and stir continuously. Add cardamon powder. Remove from fire when sweet begins to leave the sides of the vessel.

Pour the sweet on a greased board. Cut into squares or diamond-shaped pieces whle still warm.

*******

Bolinhos

Ingredients :

1 ½ lb sugar

1 coconut, grated

15 egg yolks

1 ½ lb semolina

2 tbsp butter

Preparation :

Bolinhons is also know as Coconut Cookies

Make a syrup of the sugar. Add to it grated coconut and stir well. Remove form the fire.

Add to the mixture egg yolks and semolina, stir thoroughly, and return to the fire. On a very low flame bring to the boil and allow mixture to thicken, adding butter while still on fire.

Remove the mixture, form into small cakes, lay out on a greased and floured baking tray and bake.

Posted By: Cristina, Goa.

02/02/2006

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Carrot Halva

Ingredients :

1/2 kg carrots

1 litre milk

4 to 5 cardamom

1/4 kg sugar

1 tbsp charmagz(dried melon seeds)

100 gms ghee or cashewnuts

A few almonds

Preparation :

Scrap carrots and grate them. Bring milk to a boil in a heavy bottomed pan. Add grated carrots.

Cook on medium heat stirring occasionally without closing the lid till the mixture is fairly dry(Opp-30 to 40 minutes).

Add sugar, cardamom crushed and melon seeds, mix well till everything becomes semi solid dry.

Then add ghee and fry well by adding the cashew nuts and almonds. Decorate with silver foil and serve after getting cold.

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Allebelle

Ingredients :

½ kg raw rice, ground fine

4 egg whites

Salt to taste

Oil to fry

Preparation :

Allebelle is also know as Jaggery Filled Pancakes.

Grated tender coconut and jaggery, mixed thoroughly.

Mix ground rice, salt and egg white with enough water to form a thin batter. Heat a frying pan and when really hot, apply oil all over the pan and drop in a spoonful of batter and spread all over the frying pan (like a pancake). When the underside is well-done, flip over.

When done on both the sides, remove and place on a plate. Place the filling in the centre and form rolls.

Posted By: Cristina, Goa.

02/02/2006

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Nankhatais

Ingredients :

200g sugar (ground fine)

200g ghee

200g flour (sieved)

100g semolina

Preparation :

Mix sugar and ghee. Add flour a little at a time. Finally mix semolina and knead well.

Divide the dough into 30 portions. Round each portion between your palms and flatten slightly.

Place in a lightly greased pan and bake for 20 minutes in a pre-heated oven at gas mark 4.

Posted By: Judith Monteiro, UK.

13/07/2005

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Sannas

Ingredients :

(Toddy Fermented Rice Cakes)

250 gm rice
1 coconut
500 ml toddy
salt to taste
20 gm sugar

Preparation :

Wash and soak the rice overnight. Drain and grind the rice finely with toddy. Add grated coconut and make a thick batter.

Add sugar, cover and keep in a warm place for about 3 hours or until the batter ferments.

Add salt to the batter and mix thoroughly. Pour the batter into shallow round moulds and steam for 15 minutes.

Posted By: Desmond Vaz.
20/04/2005

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Marzipan

Ingredients :

200g caju nuts
3 tbsps. Rose water
1 egg white
200g icing sugar
2 tsps. Almond essence
Any edible colour

Preparation :

Grind the nuts fine into rose water.

Take a bowl, beat egg white lightly and mix in nut paste and the remaining ingredients. Keep the bowl over a pan half filled with water. Do not allow the bowl to touch the water.

Keep the pan with the bowl on the fire. Stir mixture continuously and when it begins to leave the sides on the bowl keep the pan down from the fire.

Transfer the mixture to a marble slab or a wide plate and quickly knead to smooth dough, otherwise the mixture will turn hard.

A little rose water may be mixed if the mixture turns hard. Divide the dough into small balls and make various fruit shapes.

If a marzipan fruit mold is used, do not use colour but paint the fruits with edible colours after removing them from the mould.

Posted By: Mr. Thomas Pereira, Kenya.
28/03/2005

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Shira

Ingredients :

1 cup semolina
1 cup milk
3/4 cup ghee
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup banana pieces
8-10 cashews
few raisins
1 tsp cardamom powder

Preparation :

Heat the pan. Add ghee(wait till ghee melts).

Add rava and fry for about 10 minutes in low heat. When rava turns to golden brown, mix milk and banana.

Stir it nicely and cover the lid. Cook for 4-5 minutes.

Now add sugar, cashew, raisins and cardamom powder. Cover the lid. Cook for another 3-4 minutes and turn off the heat.

When you add sugar it may appear like watery. Let it settle for few minutes. Then it will be fine.

********
Banana Fritters

Ingredients :

2 bananas (over ripped) one egg,
4 cups of chapatti (plain) flour
3tbsp of sugar (or more depending on how sweet you want)pinch of salt,
1/4 tsp of cardimon powder,
(optional 4 drops of essence)
2 cups of water, (enough to make a batter) oil for frying.

Preparation :

Take bananas and squash with your hands, add sugar, salt, cardimon, and eggs to the bowl.

Mix it well with water, untill you get a smooth batter and not too watery.

Heat frying pan and pour oil just enough on the frying pan, take a deep spoon of batter and put it on the pan and try to circular the spoon around the batter so that you can get round shape and after sometime turn it over,fry well and have it for evening tea, while it is hot

Posted By: JULIE FARIA, HAMILTON,NEWZEALAND..
05/05/2007

*******
Perada (Guava cheese)
Ingredients : 4 cups guava pulp (6 to 8 large guavas will be necessary)
4 cups sugar (quantity of sugar is the same as that of pulp)
2 cups water 1 level tsp citric acid (optional) or juice of 1 lime 2 tbsp butter (optional)
A dash of cochineal (optional)
Preparation: Wash, peel and boil guavas in water very slightly.
Drain out the water into a pan and keep aside.
Pass the guavas through a sieve and keep aside.
Boil the seeds, etc. (that remain in the sieve) in the drained water and pass through a sieve.
Mix the pulp obtained from both the guavas and the boiled seeds and put in a pan with sugar, citric acid or lime juice, cochineal and butter.
Cook on slow fire stirring now and then. When cheese leaves the sides of the pan, it is ready.
Spread it on a flat dish and cut into desired pieces when cooled.

*******

Raechad Masala
This fiery hot masala paste has its home in Goa. It can be used as the main spice mix in a curry or to marinate meat or fish. You can make some ahead and store it in your refrigerator for later use.

INGREDIENTS:

White vinegar
15 dry red chillies
1 tbsp black peppercorns
2 tsps coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
12-15 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp sugar
A golf ball-sized lump of tamarind (seeds removed)
Salt to taste

PREPARATION:
Put all the ingredients except vinegar into a food processor.
Add the vinegar a little at a time, to grind the ingredients into a thick, smooth paste.
This paste can be stored in a glass bottle for several days if kept in the refrigerator.

*******

Prawn Balchao

Ingredients:
• 1/2 kg Headless prawns, deveined, shelled and cleaned
• 4 Tomatoes, finely chopped
• 2 Green chillies, chopped
• 1 Sprig curry leaves
• 4 Onions, finely chopped
• Sugar, salt and vinegar to taste
• 4 tbsp Oil
• Make fine paste of:
• 1 tbsp Ginger-garlic paste
• 2 Dry red chillies
• 1 tbsp Vinegar
• 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
• 2 tsp Cumin seeds
• 1 tbsp Mustard seeds
• 1 tsp Black peppercorns

How to make Prawn Balchao:
• Mix a pinch of turmeric powder and some salt.
• Rub the cleaned prawns with this mixture. Leave aside for five minutes
• Wash the prawns well and drain.
• Apply the above prepared fine paste into the prawns and leave aside.
• Heat oil in a large frying pan and add in the curry leaves.
• Add finely chopped onions and fry on medium flame till the onions turn light brown.
• Add chopped tomatoes and saute till the oil starts leaving the sides of pan.
• Now add the prawns and marinade and fry briefly. Stir occasionally.
• Add green chillies, sugar, salt and vinegar to taste. Mix well.
• Put a lid and simmer on low flame for about ten minutes.
• Remove from the heat when prawns are well cooked.
• Serve with bread slices or chilled Kokum in Yoghurt.

*******
Fresh Prawn Pickle

Ingredients:

1 kg (just over 2 pounds) king prawns
750 ml white vinegar
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 dozen dry red chillies
4 tsps cumin seeds
A thumb-sized piece of ginger
15-20 cloves of garlic (one large pod)
7 tbsps oil
Salt

Preparation:

Wash, shell and devein the prawns. Pat them dry with a paper towel.
Mix salt to taste and the turmeric powder and rub into the prawns. Keep aside to marinate for an hour.
Grind the red chillies, ginger, garlic and cumin seeds into a thick, smooth paste in a food processor by adding a little vinegar at a time.
Heat 4 tbsps of oil on a medium flame and stir fry the prawns till golden. Drain on paper towels and allow to cool.
Fry the spice paste you made earlier with 3 tbsps ofoil, till the oil beging to separate from the masala. Now add the remaining vinegar (season if necessary) and cook on a medium flame for 15 minutes more. Allow it to cool fully.
Place the prawns in a glass pickling jar and pour the cool spice mix over them.
Mix well and allow to ‘rest’ for a few days before eating.
Eat with rice and daal or just plain boiled rice.

*******
Chicken Xacuti
Ingredients:
1 large chicken (1 ¼ kg)
salt to taste
one cup grated coconut and 1 tbsp fresh, diced coconut
1 ½ tbsp coriander seeds
1 dessertspoon cumin seeds
1 tbsp poppy seeds
1 tsp turmeric seeds
8 red dried chillies
1 tsp grated nutmeg
6 star aniseed
2 tsps fennel seeds
1/3 cup oil
2 large onions, chopped fine
6 green chillies, chopped fine
2 tbsp tamarind pulp
3 cups water
Method:
Wash, clean and joined the chicken, and then each piece into two. Apply salt and keep aside. In a flat/ griddle, on medium heat brown the grated coconut, and all the spices except the nutmeg, green chillies and diced coconut. You will get a strong fragrance when the spices are done (approx. 3 -5 mins.). Remove from heat and grind this mixture of roasted spices to a paste in the blender/grinder. Heat oil in a pan on medium heat and saute all the ground spices along with the green chillies, and 1 large onion chopped fine. Add the chicken pieces, diced coconut, nutmeg and salt to taste along with the tamarind pulp. Lower the flame and add the water gradually, stir cooking, as you do so in an open pan. After 15 minutes, raise the flame and shake the pan gently. The oil will rise to the top. Remove from fire.

*******
Pork Vindalho
(pork cooked in pungent red gravy)
Ingredients:
1 kg lean pork, cleaned
Salt to taste
10 dried red chillies/peppers
10 peppercorns
10 cloves garlic
1 inch piece ginger
8 cloves
1 inch piece cinnamon
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ mustard seeds
½ tsp sugar
½ tsp vinegar
2 tbsp oil
½ peg coconut feni
2 medium onions, chopped fine
2 cups water
Method:
Cut the cleaned pork into bite-sized pieces. Apply salt and keep aside. Grind all the spices in the vinegar, adding the ½ tsp sugar. Apply the ground spices to the meat and keep aside for 4 hours.
Heat the oil in the pan on medium heat and add the meat. Stir fry the meat for 5 minutes, then add the chopped onion, coconut feni, rest of the vinegar and the water gradually. Cover the pan and lower heat. Stir cook till meat is tender and the oil rises to the top (approx. 30 minutes).
Note: Chicken or beef can also be used in the recipe given for Pork Vindaloo.

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Traditional Fish Curry
Ingredients:
6 slices fish or 1 cup prawns (peeled de-veined)
Salt to taste
4 green chillies or peppers, de-seeded
1 medium onion, sliced
2 cups grated coconut (tightly packed)
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 ½ tsp cumin seeds
6 cloves garlic
8 red, dried chillies or peppers
4 peppercorns
½ inch piece ginger
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp tamarind pulp
3 cups warm water
Method:
Wash, clean and pat dry prawns or fish. Mix it with the salt, chillies or peppers and onion. Keep aside. Combine all the rest of the ingredients, except the tamarind pulp, and make into 2 lots, putting each lot into the blender or grinder in turn, and extracting the spiced coconut milk by putting it through a sieve.
When you have squeezed out every drop of liquid from the ground coconut mixture, add another half cup of warm water to the coconut mixture and put it into the blender or mixer once more, then through the sieve, so that all the milk has been extracted. Now put the coconut extract into a deep pan on a medium heat and stir cook for 30 minutes, till the sauce becomes thick. Add the marinated prawns or fish and the tamarind pulp to the boiling sauce. Stir cook, adding more salt if necessary. When the fish curry is reduced to half its quantity, remove the curry and put it into a serving dish.
*******
Ambot Tik
(sour and hot)
½ kg fish preferably skate, shark or catfish
10 dry red chillies
¼ tsp cumin seeds
4 peppercorns
¼ inch piece turmeric
4 flakes garlic
½ inch piece ginger
a small (marble size) tamarind
1 onion (sliced fine)
2 tbsp oil
Method:
Clean and wash the fish. Cut into desired pieces, apply salt and keep aside. In the meantime grind the above ingredients in a little water. Fry the onion in oil till it turns brown. Add the masala and fry a bit. Add a cup of water, allow to boil and then add the fish pieces. Cook till tender on slow fire. Add salt and vinegar if necessary.
*******
Dodol
(rice halwa)
Ingredients:
750 gm raw Goa rice
10 large coconuts
2 ½ kg coconut jaggery
2 tbsp sugar
Salt to taste
200 gm cashew nuts, chopped
Method:
Grind the rice or powder it and blend it with a little water or coconut juice and keep aside. Grate and grind the coconuts coarsely. Extract about one and half litres of thick coconut juice and around 8 litres thin juice. Keep the thin coconut juice on the fire, preferably in a large copper vessel, and bring to the boil stirring continuously. Add the rice mixture, a little at a time, continuously stirring. Let it boil for around 2 hours. Add coconut jaggery and sugar and salt and continue stirring. When the mixture begins to thicken, add the coconut juice.
The dodol will start leaving the sides of the pan when it is done. Pour into an aluminum or stainless steel container. Decorate with chopped cashew nuts. Serve sliced.
*******
Bebinca
(rich layered pudding)
Ingredients:
1 kg castor sugar
3 cups of coconut milk (extract of 2 coconuts)
20 egg yolks
100 gm flour
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
2 tsp cardamom essence
1 cup clarified butter (ghee)
Method:
Mix the castor sugar with the coconut milk till dissolved. Beat the egg yolks till creamy and add to the coconut milk and mix the flour in it thoroughly, without any lumps. Add this to the mixture of coconut milk, sugar and eggs, along with the nutmeg and cardamom. Take a deep pan, about 6 inch in diameter and put a tablespoon of clarified butter in it. Put it under a grill (medium heat). Take it out of the grill and pour enough batter in the pan to cover the bottom about ½ inch in thickness. Put under the grill for about 2 minutes and let it cook till it is a deep brown in color. Remove from grill, put a dessert spoonful of clarified butter over the cooked layer, following it with enough batter to cover the first layer, about ¼ inch thick.
Repeat this process till all the batter and clarified butter has been used up in the same way. The batter must always be in the same proportion. The last layer has to be the clarified butter. When cool, turn out onto a dish, keeping the first layer face down. Decorate the last layer with a few slivers of toasted almonds if desired. To serve, cut into slices.

Sun, beach and music
Priyanka Sharma / November 26, 2011, 0:53 IST

Goa’s Sunburn festival gets bigger and louder.

Walking amidst the 46,000-odd fans at the Sunburn festival last year, Shailendra Singh, joint managing director of Percept, the organiser, encountered a young man wishing to speak with him personally. “My girlfriend in Lisbon could not be here due to visa issues. I want to propose to her,” he said. Twenty minutes later, the Sunburn team recorded his proposal and shared it with his girlfriend through YouTube. She accepted within minutes.

Inspired by the incident, Percept Pictures has partnered with social networking website Google+ and YouTube to create a user-generated feature film, capturing his/her journey during the three-day electronic dance and music (EDM) festival in Goa that boasts of being the largest in Asia. Similar to Ridley Scott’s film Life In Day (a crowd-sourced documentary featuring a series of video clips selected from the 80,000 clips submitted to YouTube, showing different events from across the globe, within a single day), Sunburnt is what Singh calls a “fan’s film”.

“The movie will be the depiction of the festival in nine minutes through the eyes of a fan,” says Singh. The entries submitted on YouTube will be selected, compiled and edited to create a 90-minute film.

Being marketed as a “glocal” festival, Sunburn has expanded almost threefold since last year. The number of stages is up from three to seven with over 90 artists performing different styles of EDM. Spread over 20 acres at the Candolim beach, the festival will see several new performers such as Pete Tong, Gabriel & Dresden, Perfect Stranger, Laughing Buddha and Rae. And, for the first time festival regulars, Indian fusion group Midival Punditz will be curating a live stage for young EDM performers. “The idea is to give a platform to young performers to strut their stuff live,” says Gaurav Raina, one of the Punditz.

In its first year (2007), the festival ran into losses of over a crore. This time around, with an investment of around Rs 30 crore, Percept expects to make a profit of at least 30 per cent. Though the title sponsor is undecided yet, it has tied up with “supportive sponsors” such as Lenovo and 7up.

Ticket sales are robust and some of the ‘early bird passes’ — tickets booked in advance — have already sold out, informs Sunburn’s e-ticketing partner, BookMyShow. The festival expects a crowd of around 100,000 — more than double of last year. How do they plan on managing this crowd? “Pepper spray!” jokes Raina. “You will be surprised… Sunburn fans are very peaceful. There is no angry outburst or unlawful act,” stresses Singh. “I remember running into Mani Shankar Aiyar and Rajdeep Sardesai at the festival last year, enjoying electronica.”

While air ticket prices to Goa will escalate come December, the festival has found other ways to reach fans. Sunburn will be broadcast live on YouTube across 120 countries this year. One can also watch moments from the festival on MTV and UTV Bindaas.

“My wife once asked me what’s so special about Sunburn,” says Singh. After attending it for four years, she found the answer. “It’s music without lyrics! Everyone can enjoy it.”

Taking Goan Culture to greater heights

24 November, 2011 AT News Bureau

The Mandó, the classic elegance of Goan folk music, has been at the forefront when giving Goan culture its distinctive edge. The mandó is a three-branched art form, probably the only one of its kind. The three dimensions that are an integral part of the mandó and that complete it in all respects are: the music, the lyrics and the dance. The mandó characteristically is about romance and love or the tryst of fate and the unhappy moments of failed love. The dulpod that always follows the mandó on a faster beat is all about the social living in Goan society. The dulpod has sarcasm and/or humour in its lyrics and has lately taken to making sardonic and pungent comments on Goa and its degradation socially, morally, politically and environmentally.

It has been very encouraging to see that there are many individuals and organizations that have been inspired to keep alive the spirit of the mandó. Though the villages of Curtorim, Raia and Loutolim in the South of Goa are said to have seen the beginnings of this astounding form of folk music, other areas of Goa along with these have been responsible, in contemporary times, for keeping it alive. Pervis Gomes has spent a good decade and a half doing his bit to give the mandó its due place in the Goan cultural line-up. He has the practical goal of making sure the rich cultural heritage of Goa is not only kept alive within Goan shores but also ferried around the globe.

It was in 1997 that Pervis hit upon the idea of bringing together some Mandó mogis (lovers) and forming a group to promote and expose this art form even more. To support him he had his wife, Melita and three great musicians: Martinho Dourado and Sebastião Viega, both deceased, and Balbino Fernandes.

The late Martinho Dourado was very supportive of the group and went out of his way to arrange the music for the group even at the ripe old age of 89! He continuously put in great efforts to elevate the group and Goan culture for around six years. Another great musician Fr Peter Cardozo sfx has also helped the group with their music many a time.

The largely captivating facet of the group is the number of youngsters that form a very vital part of it. There is young blood in the music as well as amongst the presenters. Cultivating love for the mandó amongst youngsters is something the group encourages and has continuously worked towards.

“In spite of our busy schedules we manage to keep Goan culture aloft,” affirms Pervis. The group works against all odds to satisfy their hunger for showcasing Goan culture. They have performed at many places in Goa and have won laurels at various Mandó Festivals all over Goa. Their performances have always been on the up and they have made a mark with their original compositions.

Pervis and his leadership also have a major role to play. “It is because of his dynamism that we are always rearing to go,” says an enthusiastic member of the group, Ralph Vas. “All the pains that he puts in really benefits the group,” continues Ralph and he also praises the effort of Melita, Pervis’ wife, who takes charge of the co-ordination to ensure the smooth functioning of the group.

Pervis has continuously used current and relevant social issues in the dulpod that he composes. This creates awareness about day to day issues that touch Goa. The group then performs these in their performances and this is their way of keeping Goan culture alive.

Pervis has led his group Mandó Mogi to many a great height. They were adjudged ‘Best Group’ at the 40th Mandó Festival organized by the Goa Cultural and Social Centre, Panjim, Goa. This festival can be equated to the Grammy Awards for the mandó. They were also awarded the prize for the best original mandó. Lyrics written by Pervis were put to music by Pervis himself and the music was arranged by the young enthusiastic damsel Jane Mendes. Jane has shown her proficiency arranging with a maturity far beyond her years. The group has also won prizes at the other Mandó Festivals organized at Margao and elsewhere too.

The group also includes many young achievers: Jane had completed her eighth grade in violin and is presently pursuing her diploma course. She plays the violin, mandolin and also sings. She has participated in many choir groups and bands. Jane has been arranging music for Mandó Mogi for the last three years.

The other musicians are Collin Pereira and Assenca Fernandes. Pervis will strike a concordant tone on the ghummot (The percussion instrument the mandó cannot be witout). Other members of the group are Pervis Izlante and Ralph Vas, Samson Fernandes, Reagan Pinto, Namita D’Silva and Nicia Pereira.

Their grit and determination has helped the group meet their dreams of taking Goan culture to international venues. Opportunity has struck them many a time as they have been invited to perform in Dubai and Sharjah and even Canada. Wherever they go, they always ensure that they give their audience a complete overview of Goan culture. The Dekhni, Fugddi, Vavraddi and the mandó in opera style and in the traditional and original categories form part of their presentations. They will now be at Assam to give their audience there a short but thorough glimpse of Goa.

Pervis is an enthusiastic man who always dreams big and aims higher. “This is just the spark,” he says with satisfaction and determination while promising that “there will be a lot more to come from us. We are resolute in pledging that we will take Goan culture to the pinnacle in the future.”

The Mandó Mogi will be perfoming in Guwahati during the 1st Guwahati International Music Festival