Goa's influence on Brazilian architecture

Posted Nov 20, 2009 by Armstrong Vaz
Goa and Brazil share a few common similarities dating back to the Portuguese colonial rule, of language and football. But on Thursday night, Brazilian Ambassador to Qatar Anuar Nahes highlighted yet another little known artistic link -
The role of Goan artisans and craftsman in Brazilian architecture and the impact they have left on the five-time world cup football winning country.
Nahes was speaking at the Goa Day function organized by Goan Welfare Association in the Doha, capital city of Qatar.
If the common links of language, music and football came through the long colonial Portuguese rule, the artisans from Goa flourished many decades back in Brazil, thanks to the sea route. The Goans braved the choppy waters to land in the distant land, taking the migratory link from Brazil to Africa and to finally land in the South American country.
“Goan artisans were hired to build churches and other important monuments as they were known in Brazil for their exceptional craftsmanship and they have left a big impact on the architectural scene back home. The masterly craftsman from Goa left their footprints on Brazilian soil, which is evident today,” he said.
The Brazilian, who was a special invitee for the function was delighted that Goans have been able to pick the best from both Indian and Portuguese, art and cultural scene and complimented them for maintaining the rich traditions and passing them to the new generations.
“Goa and Brazil have many things in common. The people are friendly, love their music and football. Tourism flourishes in both, on account of the beautiful beaches, as both are blessed with stunning landscapes. Goan music has a clear and definite Latin flavor. The Goan dance performance today at the Goa Day was stunning. I was impressed that the Goans have been able to maintain and pass on the rich cultural and musical traditions from one generation to another. I felt I was in Brazil or in Portugal.”
Goa, a former Portuguese colony was ruled by the Portuguese till December 1961. The smallest state in India, it is visited annually by some four million foreign and Indian tourists. One of the tourist attraction besides the beaches, temples, mosques and churches is the annual Carnival celebration held in Goa coinciding with the world-famous Rio de Janeiro festival.
He was not the only Brazilian attending the Goa Day function, Dr. Renira Gambarato, Assistant Professor at the VCUQ was another one who was impressed by the Goa Day show also attended a few Filipino’s
“The dance performance impressed me and the musical notes had Latin written all over it,” said Renira.
Besides the Brazilian duo, Indians from other parts of India who attended the function sampled more of the Goan culture at the function.
The Goan dancers performed Corridin dance, and sung Mando’s and Dekni’s much to the delight of the appreciative crowd.
The Chief Guest for the evening, Alfred Sequeira, a Mangalorean businessman based in Qatar, said Goans and Mangaloreans shared many common links and one of them was the Konkani language, he gave a clarion call to all those present to maintain and promote the language.
“We as custodians and Brand Ambassadors of the language should ensure that we speak and try to teach our children the language and pass on the rich cultural traditions which the Konkan region share to further generations,” said Alfred.
President of Goan Welfare Association (GWA) Qatar, Simon D’Silva in his presidential address disclosed that GWA has enough study material for those trying to learn Konkani or improve upon their language skills.
“We have brought in books from Stephen’s Kendra and also some individuals based in Goa have helped us in getting important Konakni language learning related books to Qatar,” said Simon.
Mathew Estrocio emphasized on the need for Goans to preserve their unique identity. He urged Goans not to sell their ancestral homes and lands to non-Goans.
“A day will come when we will be strangers in our own land. So be cautious and please pass on the message to your friends, relatives and other who are based in different parts of the world. There is still some part of Goa which needs to be saved from the mega-projects, the huge housing complexes which are gated communities in Goan villages.”
The gathering was treated to music by DJ Glorio Fernandes while Camillo M Collaco, rendered musical numbers in different languages.
The organizers tried to cover the music and cultural scene in the short programme, yet another important yet often neglected part of Goa - the Goan cuisine- was pushed in the back ground. But, giving the guests and Goans, a gourmet of the Goan cuisine would involve yet another herculean task, taking into account the busy schedule of the working couples.
Overall it was a great show.