Centuries-long colonial rule of the Portuguese and lasting cultural influences were seen together, so that all regions of Goa is now India's most Europe influenced. This reveals itself most clearly in the heartland of Goa, which for the longest time was under foreign rule and has the highest Catholic population.
Since the membership of India was aware, however, many elements of Mediterranean culture had been suppressed unconsciously. Particularly rapid decline of the Portuguese took place not only in administration and legally, but also in literature and language of education.
For the development and the first flowering of the native language of Konkani, in the 16th and early 17th Century, extensive writings on missionary were forbidden to use the language. There has been a renewed revival since the beginning of the 20th century and particularly since the recognition of Konkani literature by the Sahitya Academy in the 1970s.
An outstanding legacy left by the Portuguese colonial rulers has been in architecture. In Goa, there are many important religious buildings. Worthy of note are the churches and monasteries of the former capital of Velha Goa, owned since 1986 by UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the Basilica of Bom, Jesus Francis Xavier is buried, viewed by many Catholics as the patron saint of Goa. Houses that were once Portuguese possessions, are still everywhere in Goa.
Examples of ancient Hindu temple architecture, however are confined to the marginal rural areas, as Christian zealots destroyed in the early days of colonial rule, many temples in the heartland. Noteworthy is the Mangeshi Temple at Ponda.
Western music enjoys great popularity today. In addition, traditional Konkani folk songs are still popular. On special occasions, in the 19th Century, Manddo sung and danced. It has elements of classical European dance music and indigenous temple dances. Goa also gained worldwide recognition through the same trance-style (see Goa music).
The most popular Hindu festival in Goa is Ganesh Chaturthi. The Shigmo is a feast celebrated at the same time as the rest of India in the very popular spring festival Holi. Also Dussehra and Diwali celebrations are important for Hindus. The Christian population in addition to this also celebrates Christmas, Easter and Carnival.
Even the kitchen reflect both Indian and Mediterranean influences. Rice and fish curries are crucial for any Goan's kitchen. Often, coconut and fruit flesh is a great variety of spices (especially chilli, cumin, coriander, garlic, turmeric), tamarind and vinegar are used. Meat dishes among the Catholic population are far more common than among the Hindus. On holidays, pork dishes such as Vindaloo Portuguese origin are common. At Christmas, traditionally eaten is the lush sweet Bebinca from eggs and coconut milk. The most popular alcoholic drink is either from cashew apples or burned coconuts, high-percentage Fenny.
There is hardly any part of India that enjoys football as much as in Goa. In the top division, the National Football League, Goa has always been strongly represented. Cricket, in other parts of India is by far the most popular sport which is not least thanks to the intense media coverage. Goa's largest stadium, both for football and for cricket, is the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium (formerly Stadium Fatorda) near Margao, which offers 35,000 spectators places.
Posted on: 10-04-2010