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International Goa News

Lack of playing time compels Goa’s Romeo to return from Brazil

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PANAJI : Goan starlet Romeo Fernandes, who had gone to Brazil to prove his mettle by playing in a country which has produced some of the finest footballers in the world has cut short his stint with a Brazilian ‘A’ division club owing to lack of playing time and the star footballer is back in town. The Assolna-based lad just managed 20 minutes of playing time for Atletico Paranaense during his three-month loan spell in the South American country.

Romeo had joined Atletico Paranaense in February 2015 from Dempo SC on a loan period to last until June 2015 with a renewal extension up to December 2015. However, the loan deal was cut short to just three months as the Goan starlet has been reportedly released by the Brazilian side. Dejected and unhappy with the playing time in Brazil, it was Romeo himself who asked for his release before he could come down to Goa on May 17 to attend his sister’s wedding fearing his form may dip.

Romeo had managed to make his debut in Brazil in the last round match against Nacional PR when he came in as a late second half substitute in the Brazilian Serie A.

The lack of Romeo’s playing time in the recent past has left him out of the Stephen Constantine’s preliminary squad of 38 for the 2018 World Cup qualifiers Round 2 matches against Oman and Guam on June 11 and June 16, respectively.

On condition of anonymity, a source stated, “Romeo had requested the Brazilian club that he did not want to continue there since he was not getting proper playing time. He just got to play for 20 minutes in the club’s last game of the league, during his three-month stint at the club. And even the Indian national team coach is not happy with his playing time.”

When contacted and asked about his sudden return from Brazil, Romeo harnessed the frustrations saying, “I wasn’t getting the required playing time and was scared my performance level would drop, and now my family doesn’t want me to go back there.” “I need more match playing time and want to play for the national team,” he said.

When asked about his experience in Brazil, Romeo instantly replied saying “The level of football is excellent in Brazil and I have gained a lot of experience there. The pace of the game is much faster and one needs quick thinking to play.”

When contacted, Romeo’s agent Rhys Mascarenhas said, “He (Romeo) has been signed for FC Goa on May 15 for the second edition of ISL and the Indian national coach will consider him in the squad based on his performance in the ISL.” “Romeo left the Brazilian side due to lack of playing time and now will concentrate on upcoming ISL and Dempo SC, as his contract still runs with the club,” said Mascarenhas.

Romeo said that he has not informed the Dempo SC about his sudden return from Brazil as yet and will soon do so.

When contacted, Dempo SC president Shrinivas Dempo said that he is aware of Romeo’s return and added, “He has not reported to the club yet and unless he does so, I can’t comment on anything.”

It may be recalled that FC Goa coach Zico had apparently recommended the winger to Atletico Paranaense after the winger had an impressive inaugural edition of Indian Super league with FC Goa.[NT]

Two good Samaritans of Margao helped & healed in earthquake-stricken Nepal

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Businessman from Aquem and a doctor from Comba rushed to Nepal, one with supplies and the other with medicines; they did not know each other and did not meet but are now united as Goan heroes who put service above self

MARGAO: When disaster struck Nepal, in the last week of April and devastating earthquakes razed the region to the ground, two Margao residents, both neighbours, followed their conscience and set off for Nepal to help.
Businessman Navin Pai Raikar from Aquem and Dr Frederico Miranda from Comba live less than ten minutes from each other but the neighbours had no idea about each other’s presence in Nepal. The two Margao heroes were only concentrating on trying to help the grief-stricken Nepal residents and even shared the experience of an earthquake below their feet on May 12 when they were on their rescue and relief mission in Nepal. Raikar reached Nepal on May 8 while Miranda arrived on May 3 and both left Nepal on May 14, not having met and not knowing that they had a neighbour with the same large heart, right there in Nepal.[H]

Life, camera & action in Lisboa

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After the Indian diaspora in US, France, Mauritius and Leicester, two-time World Press Photo award winner Pablo Bartholomew, in his Indian Emigres series, is now turning his lens on the Goan community in Portugal.
Presently based in Lisbon, he has already begun looking at the different timelines of migration of Goans beginning with the 1960s when India took over Goa from Portugal. He is also focusing on those who migrated from Mozambique and Angola during the turmoil in the 1970s.

In France, Bartholomew looked at people who came to the mainland from islands such as Reunion, Guadaloupe, Martinique and also from Mauritius and Puducherry which were former French colonies. In the UK, he concentrated on the Gujarati community that settled in Leicester after being kicked out from Uganda during Idi Amin's regime.

He says the Goans too are a unique group of people and their history distinct from the Indians he photographed elsewhere. "In the UK, Mauritius and America there are different reasons for migration. As far as the Goans settled here are concerned, their perception of the regime changed in December 1961. In India we call it the 'Liberation of Goa', while many here perceive it to be the 'Invasion of Goa'," he says.

Bartholomew will stay in Portugal for 90 days, looking for clues in emigres' homes. He said that objects and photographs on walls and shelves all echo memories and identities of who they are and where they came from. There are links in the language they keep whether spoken or in songs and folklore. In their food, in their use of spices and specific regional ways of cooking. In practising their religion. In the rituals of births, deaths, marriages and other celebrations and rights of passage practised individually or collectively. "Much of this could be or will be lost in subsequent generations as the bloodlines get diluted and the link from their motherland goes further away. So this is the challenge — to find and visually make sense of these cultural markers," he says. Other challenges for him, he feels, will be to find subjects and win their confidence and understanding so that he can work intimately and personally with them.

Fundacao Oriente, a Portuguese cultural organization which has a branch in Goa, is funding this chapter of his project.
Bartholomew's personal motivation for the Indian Emigres series that started in the US back in 1987 was his father, who had to leave his country Burma (Myanmar) in 1942 during World War II, when the Japanese invaded South East Asia. His mother too relocated to India from Sargoda in West Punjab (now in Pakistan) during partition.

When his father passed away quite young, Bartholomew began to ask questions. "Why do people leave their homelands? Whether forced or by choice? And what do they make of themselves? How much do they keep of their own culture and how much do they take on?"

Ever since, the larger interest in Bartholomew's life's work has been tied to migration, exile and refuge. "I use my mixed identity to focus on the Indian people who have gone all over the world to make a better life for themselves. The Chinese are the only other ones who compare to the Indians in migration from their homelands, worldwide."

A self-taught photographer based in Delhi, Bartholomew pursued studies till class 9, after which he began photographing family, friends, people and cities. When he was only 19, he was awarded the first prize by the World Press Photo for his series on morphine addicts. His first solo exhibitions followed at Art Heritage Gallery, New Delhi (1979) and Jehangir Art Gallery, Bombay (1980). In 1984, the year of the disastrous Bhopal gas tragedy, his heart-wrenching photograph of a child victim, dead and half-buried, turned iconic, winning him the World Press Photo 'Picture of the Year' award.

Last year he was conferred with the Chevalier de l'Ordre des Artes et des Lettrers one of France's highest cultural honours. In 2013, he was awarded the Padma Shri. His photographs have been widely published in the New York Times, Time, Life, Newsweek, Business Week, National Geographic, Geo, Der Spiegel, Figaro Magazine, Telegraph, The Sunday Times Magazine and The Guardian.
[TOI]

French channel to air feature on Neturlim in Panaji

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PANAJI: Outre-Mer 1ere, a French network of radio and television stations, is airing episodes of 'Snapshots of the world, featuring the forests of Neturlim' this month. French director of the project Anne Bonneau along with her team visited Goa for the first time in 2010 and began their recording journey at Victor Hugo Gomes' ethnographical museum Goa Chitra in Benaulim. From there they followed him far from the beaches into the forests of Sanguem and Canacona to source the origins of the various artifacts at his museum and find out more about the lives of the communities who used them.

In Visundrem they visited the Dhangar community that makes its own flutes to gather their herd. The team spoke to Jimu Varak the last surviving flute maker from his family about his craft. "The legendary Sur Pava is an upright bamboo flute with the reed at the centre of the flute also made from bamboo and attached with bees wax, with holes above and below. Sadly Varak passed away three months ago and the trade has died with him," Gomes said. The background music in the recording too is that of Varak's. The same community also let the team in on their craft of making ropes from the Kevan tree.

The team documented how life has changed for the once nomadic tribes in the remote forests, many of which have been taken over by mining. In Sanguem they witnessed the de-husking and harvesting of the areca nut. In Canacona, they visited the Velip community and delved into their expertise of weaving palm leaf mats and baskets, focusing on what remains of their ancestral knowledge. The team also travelled to villages submerged by the Selaulim dam to see mud walls of some houses still standing after 28 years. They were able to study how settlements and waterways were planned in the village and traced coconut plantations that existed.

Anne Bonneau will be visiting the state again shortly to trace some of the carriages and carts from Gomes' Goa Chakra Museum.[TOI]

French Defence Minister to arrive next week in Goa

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PANAJI: French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is expected to meet counterpart Manohar Parrikar in India later next week to continue talks over the agreement that prime minister Narendra Modi initiated to purchase 36 Rafale fighter jets off the shelf from France at a cost of over $6 billion, French Ambassador to India Francois Richier said.

"It (the meeting) will not be for signing the contract since discussions are only two weeks old but to setup the negotiation mechanism and agree on the chief parameters," Richier said.

Embassy officials have yet to fix a date for the important meeting. Richier also refused to set a timeline for the delivery of the aircraft saying instead that it was better to be prudent in these matters.

The deal to purchase the 36 Rafale Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft could see about $2 billion being ploughed back into Indian due to a 30% offset clause that is likely to be included in the finalized agreement.

During his visit to France, Modi and French President Hollande had decided that India would purchase the much needed MMRCA fighter jets for the Airforce in a fly away condition. [TOI]

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