Search This Site Search Web

Goan Convention - 2009 Begins in Style

Muscat, Nov 5: It was like the whole Goan Diaspora from all over the world coming together at one venue as one family to present the past, discuss the present and plan the future. It was a meet of many intellectuals from Goa and Goan origin to exhibit their knowledge on Goa, outline the full length past history and present the future prospects of the land of joy, Goa.

The fourth Global Goan Convention commenced at the Indian Embassy Multipurpose hall on Saturday, 5th November 2009 at 10.00 am was a dream of HE Mr. Eduardo Faleiro, the Honorable Commissioner for NRI Affairs, Government of Goa, primarily to unit the Goan spread all over the world and then, to focus on the problems of Goans. It was a suitable platform to promote Goan art, culture and social interaction, and also to provide an emotional link between the Goans of the world.

The first Global Goan Convention was held in the year 2006 in Goa and then, in Portugal (2007) and Canada (2008). The current convention is being organized under the patronage of HE Mr. Eduardo Feleiro and His Excellency Mr. Anil Wadhwa, the Ambassador of India to Oman. The whole program of two days, 5th and 6th November, is formulated and arranged by the Goan Community of Oman (GCO) under the able leadership of Flynn De Lima, the current President of GCO.

In the morning hours, there was a graceful Goan spirit spreading around the venue at the lawns of Indian Embassy Building at Al Khuwair. Every Goan entered the premises had a cheerful smile to share to the fellow Goans. Everyone was beautifully dressed for the grand occasion of the year.

The ceremony commenced with a call order by Jocelle Fernandes, young and enthusiastic youth ministry leader of Sts. Peter and Paul Church, Ruwi. Young children of the Goan community then presented a beautiful invocation song, ‘A Day of Joy; A Day of Hope’, composed by Savio D’ Souza, a vibrant musician of the Ruwi Parish and the Goan community. “Ievkar ” (Welcome) the Konkani part of the song was composed by Celso Fernandes, a renowned Konkani activist of Goan origin.

Flynn De Lima, GCO president welcomed the dignitaries and the audience on behalf of GCO and the organizing committee of the Global Goan Convention 2009. Flynn De Lima also highlighted the necessity of the convention to bring solidarity, strengthen the united Goan Spirit; inculcate fun and fellowship among Goans, expose a platform to exhibit the Goan art and culture and finally, help and support the needy in their financial requirements and difficulties.

The lighting of the traditional lamp ceremony was performed by Eduardo Feleiro, Anil Wadhwa, and Shrimati Agnelo Fernandes, Dr. Satish Nambiar, Dr. Mario De Souza, Celso Fernandes, Flynn De Lima and other Goan dignitaries. The Convention souvenir was then released.

Dr. Mario De Souza beautifully presented the true outlines of “The Goan” and “The Gulfie” the popular term of the Goan working in the Gulf. He also aptly narrated the transformation takes place in the living standards in Goa, once a Goan becomes a Gulfie. He stressed that the Goans all over the world are truly famous for their diligence, loyalty and integrity. Dr. Mario presented the theme of the current convention which is “the Gulf Goan”. He also highlighted the core topics revolving around this theme are :

Overseas Goan Groups Employment Opportunities and Conditions abroad Preserving and Promoting Goan Identity and Culture Family Issues – Education, Communication, Travel, Housing, Entertainment Investment Opportunities in Goa Relocating back to Goa.

Dr. Mario pointed out the existing problems of Non-resident Goans in Goa specially in securing seats for NRG’s children in the Medical colleges and the Goan Identity for NRGs. He also requested the Government authorities to help to sort out the existing problems of NRGs.

Simon D’Silva the current president of Qatar Goan Welfare Association addressed the audience and presented the need of various programs to help the needy Goans who are returning to the mother land due to recession around the world.

Dr. Satish Nambiar, the lively and supportive president of Indian Social Club addressed the gathering and expressed his joy of seeing Goans at one venue.

Agnelo Fernandes, Member of the legislative Assembly in Goa and Chairman of the EDC (Economic Development Council) addressed and explained the various development plans implemented by the Government and EDC for the benefit of the Goans.

The Indian Ambassador to Oman, HE Mr. Anil Wadhwa expressed his extreme joy to become the part of Global Convention. He also mentioned that the Goan community in Oman is one of the least problematic and have less complaints to the Embassy. He agreed that the Goans are always diligent in their work place and offer complete solidarity to the employer. He outlined the various facilities offered by Indian Embassy to tackle various needs of Indian in Oman.

Eduardo Feleiro, Commissioner for NRI Affairs, Government of Goa, in his address assured to form a Apex Body within one year in Panjim to address and solve various problems pertaining to NRGs. He also highlighted the importance given to the Migration study by the Goan Govenrment.

Alan D Costa, active social activist and present Vice president of the pastoral council of Sts. Peter and Paul Church, Ruwi proposed the vote of thanks.

The anchor for the whole morning session was Jocelle Fernandes.

After the traditional and sumptuous Goan lunch, afternoon session commenced at 1.00 p.m. and it was titled as Amchi Goa (Our Goa). Senior Consultant and Head of Neurosurgical Services of the Ministry of Health, Sultanate of Oman, Dr. Santosh D. Lad was the moderator. Prajal Sakhardande, Senior Lecturer at History Department of Dhempe College of Arts and Science, Miramar Panaji, Goa presented a vivid and illustrative pictorial of Goan history and heritage. A renowned environmentalist of Goa and Maharashtra region, Rajendra Pandurang Kerkar presented a briefing on the Eco-cultural Heritage of Goa with a reference to the recent environment issues. Dr. Oscar Rebello, well-known consulting physician of Panaji, described the future of Goa and requirements of unity to face various turmoil and difficulties in the mother land.

Arwin Mesqita, a senior brand manager for Nautica branded stores in the Middle East, presented a talk on the methods required to preserve Goa and its unique identity. Freddy Agnelo Fernandes, a social activist working in Dubai, spoke on “Goa yesterday, Goa Today and will there be Goa tomorrow?” John DeSa, ex president of the Goan Sports Club, Qatar presented a beautiful narration on “Goa, going….. gone?” while Benedict Lobo described his project of Radio Goa.

The program ended with discussions on the above topics.

Dine and Dance program was presented in the evening at the Indian Embassy Lawns from 7.30 am

On 6th November 2009, there will be an exclusive progam on Konkani language called Viswa Konkani Sammellan.