Goa-Portuguese cultural festival kicks off

Panaji, Sep 22 (IANS) A two-month-long celebration of Goa’s colonial tryst with Portugal, “Semana de Cultura Indo-Portuguesa”, got underway in the coastal state on Friday, with a Portuguese film festival.

Over a period of two months, Goa will celebrate its colonial past with the Lusofonian state via the three-day film festival, fusion foods and wine and musical galas in order to promote cultural ties between the two regions.

Organised in association with the Portuguese consulate in Goa, the film festival got underway in Panaji on Friday and features Portuguese movie classics, the organisers said.

“India and Portugal are both regions steeped in rich heritage and culture. India is a mingling of diverse cultures, all special in their own way. Goa too has its own unique identity and culture which is a blend of Indian and Western nuances,” Audhut Caro, chairman of the executive committee of the event, told reporters here.

The annual event is an effort to celebrate and appreciate the rich cultural flavours of the two nations, Caro said.

Unlike most parts of India, which experienced British rule for nearly 200 years, Goa’s engagement with its Luso colonisers spread over 451 years, making the connect deeper, richer and hence more complex.

Even though the Indian armed forces liberated Goa in 1961, the fusion between the culture of the colonist and coloniser is still evident in Goa’s food, music, dance, architecture, laws and even language.

The earlier editions of the Semana held in the previous years have portrayed Goan and Portuguese culture, including art, cuisine, films and other art forms through Goan and Portuguese artists.

“Goa has assimilated the essence of both regions where people coexist in harmony and joy. Through this event Semana da Cultura Indo-Portuguesa (Goa), we would like to share and enjoy the essence of our diverse cultures,” Caro said.

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