People and Lifestyle
people of Goa prefer to call themselves Goans and not Goanese as mentioned in
guidebooks and brochures. Goans are very much aware of this unique identity;
they are proud of it and guard it fiercely.
The population of Goa is composed of a Hindu majority of around 65% and a Christian
minority of around 30%. Muslims and other religions make up the rest. The interesting
part in all these percentages is that, as is the case with most statistical
figures, they conceal more than they can ever reveal.
The Hindu community is dominant in the talukas (districts) of Ponda, Bicholim,
Pernem, Satari, Sanguem, Quepem and Canacona. These areas actually form part
of the Novas Conquistas, or the New Conquests, made by the Portuguese in the
last stage of the expansion of their Goan empire in the eighteenth century.
By this time, the Portuguese military might was on the wane and the religious
ardour for forced conversions was at its lowest ebb. Hence the population in
these newly conquered areas were pretty much left to practise their religion
Old Conquests on the other hand, consisting of Salcete, Mormugao, Tiswadi and
Bardez bore the brunt of the Portuguese army and the religious zealots. Together,
the two arms of the Portuguese empire, managed to destroy temples and converted
hundreds of non-Christians in these areas, which are predominantly Christian
Fortunately, these bitter memories of the past have done nothing to change the
warm, friendly and loving nature of the Goan people. By and large, the Goan
considers himself a Goan first and a Hindu, Christian or Muslim afterwards.
The bonds of language and the Goan identity are strong enough to allow for different
in contrast to other parts of India, Goans have developed a remarkable degree
of tolerance towards each other's religious beliefs, and hence religious fundamentalism
is completely unknown in the state.
The best evidence of this is seen in quite a few places of worship in Goa, where
both Hindus and Christians go together. The Damodar temple at Sanguem, the Church
of Our Lady of Miracles in Mapusa, the Shantadurga temple at Fatorpa are excellent
examples of this unique religious harmony that exists in Goa. Besides these,
a number of other festivals in Goa are celebrated by members of both communities
with equal fervour.
in proportion to their numbers, a very high percentage of Goans live abroad
than the members of most other regional communities of India. But no matter
where they might be on the surface of the planet, Goans love to express the
adoration of their homeland in some form or the other.
as the people from Goa are known around the world, have a unique lifestyle which
reflects the perfect blending of the cultural influences that they have experienced
over the centuries.
By nature, Goans are warm, friendly, easy going and large hearted. They live
life in style and at a leisurely pace. They are passionate about dance, music
and art which is in their blood and they love their food and feni.
Goans attitude to life is best described by the word Susegad which means taking
life at a relaxed pace and enjoy it to the full. This unique philosophy of life
originates from the Portuguese word Socegado which literally meant quiet.
The people of Goa have taken that to heart, quite wholeheartedly while leading
quiet and relaxed lives in their peaceful land.
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