Issues from Mumbai (I.C. Colony)

This scan of a page from the souvenir of the Goan Cultural Association gives a hint of the issues and concerns in that part of the Diaspora. Check above.


Bomoicars as Goans, Goans as Bomoicars

Got two complimentary copies of this journal, published by the Goan Cultural Association at I.C. Colony, Borivali (W) Mumbai 400103. As almost anyone would know, the I.C. Colony is one of the new and major Goan settlements in recent years, after Goans from downtown Mumbai (or Bombay, actually) shifted to the distant suburbs. This came about after liberalisation in India in the 1990s saw real estate values touch new highs, specially in the heart of town.

For those who might be interested, the address of the GCA is: La Paloma, Opposite Corporation Bank, I.C. Colony, Borivali (West) Mumbai 400103. Check it out.

Besides ads of Goan businesses in the Big City, this large-sized souvenir also has links to the activities of the association, and articles dealing with the homeland and its diaspora — the kudds of Bombay, which Goan villages are famous for what, the Catholic seamstress of Bombay, and Goan recipes. As someone who tries to understand the diaspora, I also found the Goan business ads interesting. Thanks to Albino Monteiro of Santo Estevam/IC Colony for keeping in touch over the past very many years!

Maps of an East Africa that the expats might recall

Don’t ask me where I got these maps from, can’t even remember. (Leroy?) But it’s not one of those books which I conveniently forgot to return.

Well, these are colonial era maps of East Africa, a region closely intertwined with the story of Goan out-migration. Between a slender set of thin paper covers, these are “road maps” of East Africa. Included is a large-sized map of Kenya-Uganda-Tanganyika, and then city maps of Zanzibar, Dar-es-Salaam, Entebbe, Kampala, Nairobi (larger sized) and the port city of Mombassa.

Surely, these names would bring back memories. To many.

This is a Caltex road map. Caltex is a petroleum brand name of Chevron Corporation used in more than 60 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East, and Southern Africa…. A quarter of Caltex’s service stations are located in South Africa making it one of the country’s top five petroleum brands. As a subsidiary of Chevron it also owns a refinery in Milnerton, Cape Town which has a production capacity of 100,000 barrels per day and produces a range of petrochemical products which include petrol, diesel, jet fuel, liquefied petroleum gas, fuel oil and paving asphalt. The company also has a lubricants manufacturing plant and laboratory in Durban. Caltex had been criticized frequently for its operations in South Africa during the Apartheid era.

Kenya’s racial minorities (a dissertation)

Jeanne (nee Nazareth) Hromnik jeannehromnik at writes in from South Africa to say via the Goa Book Club: For us diasporans and other Goans: I know that PhD theses make for heavy reading but I think that this one will be of interest to ex-Kenyan Goans — at least, those of us who recognise that we were also Indian or Asian!
The literature review in the first chapter is very comprehensive. The basic intent of the thesis is to investigate why Asians are so politically ineffective in present-day Kenyan, the legacy of stalwarts such as Pio da Gama Pinto notwithstanding.

Thanks for sharing, Jeanne! Here is the dissertation.

Roots: Unusual stories from Goa

After coping with generations of wander-lust, that often snapped ties with their roots, Goans from far and near return with renewed interest to trace back their origins…. A longer (unedited) version of the Outlook story alongside.

By Frederick Noronha

Tom Fernandes is blond with typically Germanic light eyes. If his accent and looks suggest he belongs to central Europe, his surname sounds possibly Goan. It is. Infact, he’s just one of the many Goans scattered in distant lands due to one of history’s most under-studied diaspora that saw tens of thousands from this small region get scattered far and wide across the globe.

Today, many like Tom, in his early twenties, are returning back to their home state… all in a quest to better understand their identity, find their roots, and possibly re-trace their ancestry. Speedy communications over the Internet and closer international links is making all this possible in today’s global village.

In the bargain, many are digging up unusual stories about past generations. Strange though it may seem, Goa could be one of the best places in this part of the globe to belong to if you’re curious about your roots. Fairly well-kept colonial records, the still-existing village ‘gaunkari’ system and the rural networks of ‘vangods’ (extended clans) might make it easy for you too to search for your roots.

PHOTO ABOVE: Wedding in the family, probably 1929 in Curtorim. Photo courtesy Pe. Antonio Costa of Curtorim/Tempe AZ 85283-3622.

Continue reading “Roots: Unusual stories from Goa”

Goans singing… in London

My octogenarian friend Mervyn Maciel shared with me this cassette (yes, an old fashion cassette) of Goans singing in London way back, probably in the 1970s. I didn’t do much with it, till I realised that it could be converted into MP3, via the helpful Margao Electronics in Margao.

You can hear the music here (all except one song, which was inadvertently not converted into MP3 due to oversight and I don’t have the time to get back… sorry)

Continue reading “Goans singing… in London”

Goa Migration Study 2008

For a study of considerable relevance to Goa, it’s surprising how difficult it is to obtain this document (or even just a PDF of it).

In the first place, it was put out on the site. The site doesn’t work anymore. (In fact, the Goa NRI Commissioner’s site is at And even when the site was up earlier, you needed to actually register to get it there!

Anyway, here’s the study 85304160-Goa-Migration-Study-2008 (1) … see what you make of it.

The Old Family Tree Shade

A scattered diaspora dips into Goa’s rich archives in a hunt for roots and a place in history


If Tom Fernandes’ accent seems German as do his light eyes, his surname sounds decidedly Goan. Fernandes, 24, a software engineer, is in fact one of the tens of thousands of Goans scattered in distant lands in one of history’s most under-studied diaspora. But today, Goa, Europe’s first colony and the longest-held in Asia, is seeing people like Fernandes return like homing pigeons in search of their roots. “It has great nostalgia value,” he says.

Centuries ago, Goa became one of South Asia’s first areas to see a heavy migration of its residents. Goans, particularly Catholics, migrated mainly to East Africa (then ruled by the British), Portugal, Mozambique and Angola (Portuguese colonies in Africa), Myanmar, the current Pakistan (particularly Karachi), the UK, US and Australia. Continue reading “The Old Family Tree Shade”

Village portraits, mostly expat achievers

So glad that this book’s author’s granddaughter (Giselle Lobo) gave me one of the few copies left, and also allowed it to be reproduced for the reader one-and-a-half generation after it was written.

The copy I have is falling to pieces. Literally. But in the meanwhile, we hope to have an ecopy of the same out soon.

Floreat Saligao (which means May Saligao Flourish, the author tells us) is a book of “profiles of eminent people of Saligao” by C. Hubert de Souza. I didn’t have the pleasure of meeting Mr de Souza, but knew his late son (the popular and articular speaker/preacher/priest) Fr Desmond de Souza (CSsR) and other members of his family, including Giselle. She has resettled back in the village and is doing a great job with educating children with special needs here and elsewhere. Continue reading “Village portraits, mostly expat achievers”

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