WITNESSES THE UNSEEN AT THE GOA HERITAGE FESTIVAL! By Audrey DMello

GLIMPES OF THE GOA CAMPAL HERITAGE FESTIVAL WHICH IS ON CURRENTLY…. Music, dance and the Kunbi saree is the leitmotif of the festival this year

By Audrey DMello

THE Goa Heritage Festival in Panaji came back to live on November 16, 2022 in Panaji. For five days it continued to celebrate all that is of heritage value to Goans and residents of Goa across age groups. Primarily, it introduced different art and cultural traditions of the State — many initiated and volunteered to do the same through a sequence of heritage walks such as bird walks, food trails, medicinal plant walks, art and folk performances now rarely seen by Goans and tourists alike.
The Campal Precint was lit with happiness and excitement over five days when it featured and show-cased folk performances like dhalo, fugddi, kirtan, intruz…along with a screening of Goa’s most loved musical drama film, Nachom-ia Kumpasar, for a large number of heritage enthusiasts and connoisseurs.
“It’s heartening to see the number of people who came forward to assist and volunteered to put our ideas and thoughts into action. The residents of Campal have been wonderful. It just shows how committed we all are to keep Goan heritage alive and we are truly grateful for the same,” says Heta Pandit, Member of GHAG, on opening day.
The Kunbi saree, a traditional fabric of Goa, was under the spotlight as many of the GHAG women members sashayed down the garden path draped in various kinds of Kunbi sarees in various hues. This was a unique cat walk celebrating the Kunbi saree in its trademark red and white chequered fabric as also in other color combinations. The sarees of woven cotton in patented design are worn traditionally by the tribal Kunbi women of Goa and they are worn in such a way that they enable the women to work freely in the fields and also be comfortable at home while doing household chores.
Artwork by 43 local artists is being exhibited on the walls of various homes of residents in this niche heritage enclave of old world residences. The Heritage Bistro hosted several book launches and discussions every day as part of the IDEAS segment which witnessed the launch of Heta Pandit’s newest book “Stories from Goan Houses” and a culinary glossary by Dr Fatima Silva Gracias.
Celebrated Indian social worker, designer, writer and craft activist Laila Tyabji spoke about the Kunbi saree at the festival. “Crafts, art, folk performances, sculptures need to be recognised as luxury items and as a potential goldmine. I am thrilled that the Goa Heritage Festival has taken this initiative to let the world know the importance of them through different sets and stories,” said Laila Tyabji. Adding, “I have written extensively about sarees that have made an impact through their history , they continues to be my personal favourite and having the opportunity to speak to a packed- spaced audience in depth about them is something I am eternally grateful for.”

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