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Making heritage fun for the masses

Jamaican-born political leaderMarcus Garvey once said, “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” The same goes for Goans who have lived their lives in Goa that is so rich in history and heritage. While many think that history belongs to the past and it doesn’t matter what has happened, it is surely influencing our future in some way. To make this very heritage more interesting and absorbing is the Goenkaranchem Daiz, an NGO based in Margao. They will be organising the first ‘Making Heritage Fun’, a round-table discussion, on October 5, 2018 at Ravindra Bhavan Margao at 4pm.

Goenkaranchem Daiz was founded in 2006 with just 50 members with the need to safeguard the Goan ethos through its Konkani language, literature, culture, history, art, music, folklore, etc.

Over the years, its strength has grown to over 200 members, with more activities on their calendar list. Their latest activity is reaching out to a wider audience through the ‘Making Heritage Fun’ discussion.

Goenkaranchem Daiz is headed by its President, Arlindo D’Miranda, with Varun Hedge as the secretary of the organisation. Besides the on stage programme, the organisation also has a Goenkarancho Daiz Library near Dominos Pizza in Fatorda, Margao, with a collection of over 11,000 books of Goan heritage, history and literature in Konkani, English, Portuguese and Marathi.

“Heritage’ means ‘Daiz’ in Konkani and we wanted to take relevant issues and make them interesting for the masses so that they could feel included and relate to the issues. Many people believe that history is not important or fun but through the two-and-a-half-hour program with three panellists who are experts in their fields, we want to show the audience that history can be fun.

The programme will include introductions, individual views of the panellists based on their field and how they are making heritage fun, a moderated session followed by a Q & A sessions with the audience,” says Varun.

The free and open to all programme will have Sanjeev Sardessai, a hands-on historian; Victor Hugo Gomes, Founder of Goa Chitra Museum; and Sawani Shetye, an archaeologist, as panellists. “Sanjeev Sardessai is a storyteller who writes articles on history for various newspapers. He has an interesting way of explaining unknown facts of history without making it boring. Victor Hugo Gomes from Benaulim has worked closely in preserving the artefacts of different traditional professions in Goa through his museum Goa Chitra and has a wonderful collection at Goa Chakra based on the invention of the wheel. Sawani Shetye is a young archaeologist who organises various heritage trails in Goa and has an experience of making heritage fun in her own way,” Varun elaborates.

Victor Hugo Gomes is the curator and founder of Goa Chitra and Goa Chakra and is working on his next museum in Betul. Sawani Shetye, a Porvorim based archaeologist with an MA in Archaeology and Ancient Indian History and culture and has her own brand Bhoomij Heritage Consultancy.

To conclude, Varun says, “After this discussion, we plan on making this a monthly programme at different venues in Goa. Many colleges have also showed interest in conducting such discussions at their colleges for the students.” [H]

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