Goa heritage festival under shade of century-old church

Panaji, April 16 (IANS) With the facade of a century-old church looming in the background, Goa will celebrate a four-day heritage festival from Thursday with trademark beef, pork, fish-based cuisine, handicrafts and cultural performances showcasing the state’s culture and traditions.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar said the Goa heritage festival was Goa’s first step in the journey to create a heritage tourism niche in the state, otherwise known for beach tourism.

“All aspects of Goan culture, including cuisine like sorpotel (spicy pork stew) and choris pao (sausage bread), will be showcased at the festival. We are hoping to attract over 50,000 tourists and visitors for the event over four days,” he said.

“There will also be stalls exhibiting and promoting unique Goan crafts like pottery, woodcraft, crochet, handicrafts, coconut craft, and the like,” Parulekar said.

The festival is due to begin April 18 on the occasion of World Heritage day.

The majestic Mae de Deus church, in the shade of which the festival will take place, is a 125-year-old heritage structure, with a design unique and apart from the rest of the Catholic religious structures built by the Portuguese.

The festival will also have a lecture series on Goa’s heritage, a fashion show and theatre performances.

“This is the first time we are promoting our heritage from a tourism perspective. The aim is to create such events every year and show case our rich cultures, instead of focusing on contemporary cultures alone,” Parulekar said.

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