Heritage Tour of Members to Cuncolim

A Heritage Tour was organised for members and their immediate families to Cuncolim and Quepem on 3rd October 2021. The first stop was the St Francis Xavier Chapel in Cuncolim. Our group was greeted by the St Francis Xavier Chapel Society: Victor Noronha and other members. Prof Prajal Sakhardande from GHAG and Rama Desai from the village gave a very interesting narration of the history of the chapel. We were also joined by Uddhesh Desai, who is probably the youngest Municipal Councillor in Goa.

This was followed by a visit to the Chitari Arts and Crafts workshop and showroom where traditional Goan games like the taball phalle were demonstrated and the use of natural pigments versus chemical paints was discussed with Pradeep Chitari from the workshop.

A visit to the heritage house of the Robell-Quenim was a real treat. The additional bonus was that this is also the ancestral maternal home of our GHAG Life Member Prof Prajal Sakhardande. Both Prajal and Tejas did a remarkable job of explaining all the various rites and rituals observed by the family.

The next stop was the unique Shri Shani temple, dedicated to the planet Saturn, especially kept open for us by Santosh Gaonkar and Shri Talwadkar. Again, Tejas did an excellent job of explaining the rarity of the temple and its significance in the Hindu lexicon of idols and temples.

Pantaleão Fernandes, ethnographer, got pictures of the only foot bridge left at Takaband and also taught the young local boys how to make a little whistle from the leaves.

Award winning hospitality hosts and Life Members Ruben, Célia and the Gama family hosted a sumptuous lunch for all the members present. This was followed by a trip to Avedem, Paroda, Quepem. Amelia Dias and her group gave an excellent performance of Kunbi dances as well as a demonstration of the weaving of a traditional sleeping mat called a mey. The entire group was treated to a refreshing cup of lemon grass tea and holle or leaf-cones, stuffed with a delicious steamed snack made with rice flour, jaggery and grated coconut. The trip ended with a happy and greatly enriched experience.