By on June 08, 2017
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Goa, Goem and Goenkarponn has become the new catchphrase as the recent legislative elections have shaken everyone with its political shenanigans. There is an underlying feeling that ‘Goenkarponn’ or Goanness has been put on sale, throwing up an identity crisis that only locals can answer. Is Goenkarponn endangered? VIVA GOA asks eminent Goans about their definitions of ‘Goenkarpon’ and how we can save it

Shrinivas Dempo,

Dempo Group of Companies

What does ‘Goenkarponn’ mean to you? 
Wary as I am of catch-words, I would venture to say that I see ‘Goenkarponn’ in cultural terms. To me it suggests 
Goan-ness or the essence of being Goan. Goan identity has been conditioned by the relative insularity of Goa, its smallness, its fused culture composed of ancient Indian ways and a dash of Latin-ness, a high level of education, awareness, and alertness, along with a relatively high standard of living. Konkani is the sweet glue that binds Goans, as does its cuisine. A Goenkar is hospitable but vigilant in protecting his own interests, a trait reflected in Goenkarponn. 

What do you feel is the biggest threat to it today?
To any cultural tradition, change looms as the biggest challenge. Change – whether desired, desirable or not – marches on, is unstoppable, Proud as we are of our ancient civilisation and traditions, and rightly so, we have to remember that nothing is permanent. Change is relentless. It is the only constant. The gradual evolution of Goan identity whether one likes it or not, is inexorable. 

What can we, as Goans, do to preserve our ‘Goenkarponn’?
Nothing! Or more precisely, go on just being what we are which means carry on being Goan! The change that I am speaking of is anyway going to span generations and will creep up upon us much too gradually to be made out. The attitude to adopt then, in the exuberant Goan way, ought to be, ‘Viva Goenkarponn’!

Read the full article in 'Viva Goa' magazine copy.
Viva Goa magazine is now on stands. Available at all major book stalls and supermarkets in Goa.

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