Goa Amcho

After a day in the sun with games, family fun and many photographs, the last thing I want to do is sit at a laptop. In this instance, I am making an exception. Putting family first is something I’ve learnt from my Goan parents. The Goan community in Sharjah who worked so hard to put all our families at the forefront at an annual picnic need to be recognized for doing just that.

All we had to do was show up with mats and beach chairs. There was complimentary food and beverages provided to all who registered for the picnic. Team games were organised for all who attended. Prizes and chocolates were handed out to children and people of all ages. We even had 'Housie' played in English and Konkani.

Tea, breakfast and biscuits and snacks were in no short supply thanks to generous support of sponsors at the gathering.
It is only the second time I’ve attended this event. What got my family excited to return is the warmth of strangers who feel united despite being so far from home.

What binds us together is a common thread. We may not all have been Goan either. Families from Mangalore, Kerala and someone from the Phillipines were in attendance. Friends drove from Abu Dhabi for the event while others bought air tickets to be there in time. 

Prizes were handed out for guessing the correct weight of a home baked cake. My favourite time of day was when the guitars came out and the Goan Mandos were sung. For those not in the know, Mandos and upbeat Dulpods are lyrical ballads sung in harmony. As the men and women sang in unison under the shade of the trees, it immediately transported me back to the Goan shores.

People often joke that Goans are way too sussegad (lazy). We often make it a way of life. Well, I’d like to refute that by saying we like to take things in our stride. We are known for our hospitality. We may have moved across many shores, but at heart, we know we belong.
My father, Martin Anthony Fernandes and his friends did the same back in the 1960's in Kuwait with the Young Goans who organised hockey and cricket tournaments. Many of the players and their families raised funds to set up much-needed infrastructure for the Catholic church in Kuwait City. It may not have been easy but at 85 today, I know Dad still remembers those days with fondness and Dad I am proud of you.

Kudos to the team of volunteers and friends who organised this event in Sharjah and many others for the community. Let's get together instead of tearing each other apart.

Images by Clement Godinho, Schubert D'silva


  1. Yes thanks to Schubert Martha Bernard Walter Sharon Jane 4 putting together the fun day...
    Dev borey...thanks to the guys for the livelee music session n that nice photographer...Clement Godinho...


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