Upper left: a cheerful street vendor at Margao. Upper right: two pretty ladies in traditional outfit from am church. Lower left: Only the best tailors here. Lower right: me by a chapel in historic Panjim
The Portuguese in India? Yes they colonized the state of Goa for over 400 years
Goa, the smallest of the 30 states of India and home to over 55 beaches, has been through a dizzying array of rulers from Hindu Kings in the 3rd century BC through the 3rd century AD and over 600 years of Muslim rule in the 15th century. But it was the arrival of the Portuguese in 1510 that changed the course of Goan history, religion and culture forever. The 450-year Portuguese occupation only came to an end in 1961 with the intervention of the Indian Army.
Goa is to a large part, shaped by Portuguese culture. Most Goan ancestry dates back to the Spanish Inquisition, largely driven by Jesuits.
The indigenous population of this part of the country went through a large scape conversion to Christianity during the 16th century Spanish inquisition where most of the people got their Portuguese surnames, mainly of Jesuit origin. Before the Portuguese, Goan history was mainly comprised of Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists as well and hence an existing minority population in Goa of these religions.
Looking into a traditional Indian Almirah (cupboard) at an antique museum called Goa Chitra, founded by Goan artist-curator-restorer Victor-Hugo Gomes in the Coastal village of Benaulim. With over 4000 artefacts—focusing on Goa's traditional agrarian technology and lifestyle, this is one of Goa’s charming attractions with great insights into its culture from coconut farming to “Toddy” making (Pictured at the Bottom).
Goa's famous Latin Quarter in capital city Panjim, is abundant with old Portuguese mansions that once belonged to rulers and administrators. This district was declared a UNESCO Heritage Zone in 1984. My Pic opportunity with a Vespa to the right!
A group of Fishermen eagerly bait their early morning catch by the Arabian Sea at Dusk .
Traditional mansions in the quarter are known for their intricate "oyster-shell mirrors" where the oyster shells are flattened to let in sunlight while keeping your privacy. I remember having oyster shell curtains around in the house - pretty fragile. They didn't last too long around us kids back then!
Why Goa? With 3 Naval bases in Goa, my father, a Naval Aviator, was posted there for several years. And therefore most of my formative years were spent in this state.
The art of Mario Miranda, known as one of India’s most famous cartoonists from Loutolim known for his creative genius in translating ordinary Goan life into magical vignettes like no other. Miranda's galleries can be found in 5 different locations in Gia including the Airport and the capital city of Panjim where you can find everything from picture frames to lampshades, clutches and fashion bags with his unique caricatures. More on the story and genius behind his art can be read here : https://engrave.in/blog/indian-art-mario-miranda/
When in Goa, I highly recommend Goa Walking tours for local exploration. @goawalkingtours. An exceptional tourist guidebook is "100 Goan Experiences" by Pantaleo Fernandes published by the department of tourism Govt. of Goa. The book captures a comprehensive overview of various options from swimming with Dolphins to wilderness elephant tours to serene Yoga ashrams - Your Eat, Pray, Love guidebook to this beautiful state!
I hope you enjoyed my little snippet on Goa, one of India's coastal states with a unique mix of Portuguese, Deccan and South Indian culture. Here the natives take great pride in their heritage, opening their doors to you and finding their way into your heart.