Goa had been under the Portuguese rule from 1510 to 1961, when it was annexed by India. It was incorporated into India as a Union Territory and was finally given statehood on May 30 1987 and became the 25th state of India.
Through the four centuries of their reign in Goa, the Portuguese culture amalgamated with the Goan culture of the original natives of the land and it is still widely seen till date, turning this tiny dot on the Indian map into one of India’s best holiday destinations.
After 50 years of independence from the Portuguese, their culture and cuisine still linger on. Goans have successfully retained their own culture and absorbed the Portuguese one with ease. Modern Goa is a complete fusion of all the cultures it has had the privilege to come by. A veritable example of “East meets West” in an amalgamation of fashion, art, music, and literature. Some people have held on to the “afternoon siesta” and a totally laid back attitude.
Goa is breathtakingly beautiful. Goa is most famous for its beaches, churches, music and food. Goa’s vast coastline has attracted tourists from every walk of life. The beach shacks one gets to see on the North belt is yet another attraction. People spend their days lazing around and soaking up the sun. European tourists choose to holiday in Goa during November to March. Some of the main beaches are: - Vagator, Anjuna, Calangute, Baga, Candolim and Harmal (more commonly known as Arambol) in North Goa and Colva, Utorda and Palolem in the South. One can successfully sum up the lifestyle of Goans in one word “Susegado” (laid back and complacent). Goa is a panoramic place with wonderful, hospitable people.
Goa is principally agricultural although fishing plays an equally big role. During the monsoons (Rainy season which begins in June and ends first week of October) one can spot farmers working their fields, sowing paddy. The staple diet of the people in this region is rice and fish. Some of the dishes they thrive on are fish curry (made from Coconut milk and spices), Chicken, beef or lamb Xacuti (pronounced as Sha-koo-thee [Th as in theme]) which again is a coconut based gravy dish. Sorpatel is another favourite which people indulge in during weddings or other festivities like the Village Church feast or Christmas or Easter or births. No celebration is complete without this spicy pork dish. A rice cake (slightly sweet, made out of toddy and rice) called Sanna complements Sorpotel. Another much loved dish is Pork Vindaloo which is mildly spicy.
Music runs in the blood of every Goan, young and old alike. Children are encouraged to take up music or dance right from a young age. Goans enjoy a very musical social life. Goans have a variety of music ranging from Portuguese songs to Konkani Mandos (A Mando is a dance song whose major theme is love, the minor ones being historical stories, grievance against exploitation and social injustice, and political resistance during the Portuguese presence in Goa) and ends with Goa Trance (a form of music that emerged in the 1980’s. The music scene in Goa is definitely one to be admired.