cultural traditions literally stretch back to the dawn of
civilization. Here is an introduction to Goa's rich cultural heritage
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
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.
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.
It is a very elegant Portuguese dance, performed mainly by Goa's
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.
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.
This is another dance form performed during the Shigmo festivities by
the early Goan settlers, part of Goa's backward community.
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.