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  Goa  >>   About Goa  >>  Cruises Tour in Goa >>   Hotels in Goa  >>   Goa History  >>   Heritage and Culture   >>  Goa People
HERITAGE AND CULTURE

Goa’s cultural traditions literally stretch back to the dawn of civilization. Here is an introduction to Goa's rich cultural heritage

Introduction

Despite successive onslaughts and the ravages of alien occupation, Goa’s cultural traditions have displayed amazing resilience with stimulation by every fresh challenge. To a large extent, Goa’s cultural heritage was enriched by a slow but unremitting process of absorption and assimilation of the more congenial features of this alien culture. The focal point being the symbiosis of Latin and local cultural strains.


Music and Dance
A Goan is said to be born with music in his blood and music literally accompanies him from the cradle to the grave. Musical traditions run in whole generations. Music itself runs the entire gamut of sonic versatility; from the rustic Dhangar ( Shepherd ) playing and flutes to sophisticated tabla and sitar or violin and piano soloist thrilling large audiences in concert halls. Music is the time seller at all major social events-feasts, festivals, “zatras”, and marriages.

Goan folk music has a lively rhythm and the folk-dances a rugged vitality. The musical accompaniment for both folk songs and the folk dances is provided by a diversity of musical instruments – Ghumats, Dhols, Cymbals (Drums), Flutes, Harmonium, Violins and Guitars. The favorite, however, seems to be the Ghumat. No description in writing can ever do full justice to these dynamic folk art forms. Watching a live performance can elicit to a certain degree its emotional content, rhythmic charm, the colorful variety and vitality.

Freedom brought about a cultural renaissance in Goa along with providing a fresh impetus to the classic literature and fine arts and a revival of the folk arts. Once again the almost forgotten folk dances Dhalo, Fugdi, Corridinho, Mando and performing folk arts (like Khell-Tiatro), Jagar-perani and many others have come out into their own. Indeed the folk music and folk dances have crossed the borders of the state and become popular in the rest of the country during the past 25 years.

Here is a detailed description of the various dance forms of Goa.

Bhandap

This is a traditional folk dance performed by womenfolk of a scheduled tribal community of Goa , performed in the second half of the Hindu month of Bhadrapada.

Corredinho

It is a very elegant Portuguese dance, performed mainly by Goa's Catholic elite

Dekhni
Dekhni incorporates the exquisite and unique fusion of Indian melody and western rhythm. A lovely damsel is usually the theme of this highly popular folk song cum dance
event that is also exclusively performed by women to the beat of the "Ghumat".

Dhangar Dance
The Dhangar dance is a dance of the shepherd community of Goa , the songs and the dances represent one of the oldest folk traditions of Goa.

 
Mando

It is the most popular and stylized, song and dance event that is sweetly sad in its melody and very elegantly choreographed. Young men and women gracefully weave  rhythmic patterns to the beat of a “GHUMAT” and the romantic strains of the violin. The MANDO is nostalgically sung and danced wherever Goans are settled the world over . Slow and sad at the beginning, the Mando ends in the lively Bhulpod. The theme of the traditional MANDO is Love and romance, but of late there has been some innovation
with a diversity of thematic subjects.

Morulem

This is another dance form performed during the Shigmo festivities by the early Goan settlers, part of Goa's backward community.

Festivals

Goa is famous for its feasts and festivals. The occasion may be a harvest, a change of season, and a sacred day in the calendar or the birthday of a saint. Goans seem to thrive on festivity. There are “Zatras”, temple festivals that give great scope for folk dances and folk dramas. Annual popular dances in villages (like the famous Festa de Leques Dance) besides the major festivals of Diwali, Ganesh Chaturthi and Christmas. The annual St. Francia Xavier’s Feast draws together people of all walks of life and of all communities at the historic city of Old Goa in their thousands. The fire walking ceremony witnessed by huge crowd forms the highlight of the " Sirigao Zatra” annually. The Shigmo festival is a boisterous celebration heralding spring and is matched for colorfulness and merriment only by the Carnival – that memorable three-day bust-up of
euphoric frenzy. Here is a description of some of the principal festivals of Goa.

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