Having lived in Goa during college times when I did my Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Dhempe college, I used to always look forward for the carnival in March which was a time for much merriment and rejoice. But since I moved to Bangalore to pursue my career, I had hardly gone to Goa during the carnival times as I would be busy with one or the other thing. So it was wonderful when I got an invitation from Goa Tourism to be a part of Goa Carnaval 2014 and live tweet the entire experience! Upon landing in Goa, I was very excited to see the streets of Goa decked up in revelry for the carnival!
Goa Carnaval 2014 is a celebration of Goan culture in the format of a Carnival which has been passed down to them from the Portuguese who ruled Goa for more than 400 years! The tradition of starting the carnival is that King Momo with his beautiful wives declares the Carnaval open and says that there will be no work for next 4 days, everyone should eat, drink and be merry!
Initially we saw a lot of kids from different schools in Goa impressing Deputy Chief Minister and Tourism Minister of Goa along with other VVIPs by dancing to different peppy numbers and bringing in the carnival zest! These kids were so enthusiastic and cheerful that they didn’t care about the hot afternoon sun and danced their heart out and received thunderous applause from the audience.
Once the floats started, there were lot of floats which depicted Goan life in a very different way than what you see in media. This float showed how women and men work together in different capacities in cottage industries to create some amazing produce from Goa. The hardwork and determination of these people was depicted in this float.
Many floats showcased the evils existing in the society right now and how we should counter them immediately otherwise they will destroy us. This particular float depicted how we should counter evils like corruption and cage it before it cages our children and our future. The creativity of the participants who had toiled for days to create such a beautiful float was well appreciated by all through applause and cheers.
Another float depicted the evils of smoking and drugs. It showcased how our youth is falling prey to these addictions and if not checked in time, it could lead to really bad consequences. It was wonderful to see this float as Goa is trying to eradicate the drug menace from the state and it won’t be possible without the support from the locals who want their beautiful state to stay beautiful!
All floats were not just about messages or supporting social causes. There were a lot of floats which had a lot of entertainment like live dances, loud music and generally spreading the cheer among all the audience. There were live bands on the floats which belted Goan songs along with popular music and the dancers on the streets following these floats never let their energy down and showed how hard Goa parties!
One of the most popular floats was the Konkan railways one which had its own King Momo with two very beautiful Salsa dancers from Russia who made many youngsters’ hearts skip a beat! This was one of the most colorful floats in the Goa Carnaval 2014 parade which didn’t showcase anything special about Konkan railways but scored high on the entertainment quotient!
The creativity and talent of the Goan folks who had put these floats highlighted the fact that Goan lifestyle is not about ‘susegad’ (lazy) lifestyle but about pouring passion and hard work in anything they do – business or leisure. The intricate detail with which this dragon is made is an example of the same.
Goans being big fans of Football and Brazilian football team (Brazil also being an ex-Portuguese colony like Goa), how could there be no float about the World Cup in Brazil specially as it is happening this year? So this float made innovatively over a Maruti Omni showed what is going to keep Goa busy when their cousins will be decking up for biggest celebrations of the world’s most popular sport!
Most popular float however should go to this dinosaur float which was moving around and scaring everyone, not just children! In such a small street also, the float driver could manoeuvre his way so well that we were quite surprised! The sound effects were really scary too and ensured that it provided a good laugh for both children and adults who were amazed and thrilled to bits!
Goa Carnaval 2014 was attended by Deputy Chief Minister of Goa, Mr. Francis D’Souza and Tourism Minister of Goa, Mr. Dilip Parulekar. Their support and encouragement made this event a world-class event. We were privileged to be seated with them and see the carnival celebrations. They mentioned they wanted to make Goa a destination for World class tourists by not just making them enjoy the natural beauty of Goa but also by seeing and experiencing Goan culture via the carnival floats.
Had an amazing time being treated like a VVIP thanks to Goa Tourism and reliving my teenage memories of Goa Carnaval. It feels great to proudly showcase this amazing carnival to the world which many don’t know about. Come to my home Goa during carnival times and experience a wonderful slice of life!