Showing posts from August, 2022

Preserving Goan Religious Heritage – 1 Roman Catholic Religious Monuments

The conference titled 'Challenges for the Preservation of the Diverse Goan Religious Heritages' was held at Fundação Oriente India in Panjim on the 18 th of March 2018. Joaquim R Santos (University of Lisbon), Vishvesh Kandolkar (Goa College of Architecture), Amita Kanekar (Al-Zulaij Collective), and Gulafshan Khan (Deccan College of Pune) presented perspectives on the heritage of various religions in Goa. Architect and research scholar Joaquim Santos spoke about the Catholic religious architecture in Goa and deterrents to its preservation. Some of the apathy towards caring for Catholic structures and even conscious destruction of Catholic monuments could be traced to an animosity towards the Portuguese regime. Perhaps it is because these stand as an ideological and political reminder of that time with the obvious Portuguese influence on the architecture. In 1934, all the significant churches in Old Goa were listed as national monuments. When Goa became part of India, the

Panjim-Its Birth and Transformation

Panjim was raised to the status of a city, and officially became the new capital of Portuguese India under the name of Cidade de Nova Goa , on the 22 nd March 1843. The process of transformation of Nova Goa began long ago in 1759 when Cidade de Goa (Old Goa) became a hotbed of disease that spread its tentacles to the city’s suburbs. The epidemic prodded Viceroy Dom Manoel de Saldanha e Albuquerque to adopt the palace of Adil Shah as his residence and the pinnacle of political power in Portuguese ruled Goa. Later, Viceroy Dom Manoel de Portugal e Castro contributed monumentally to the reorganisation and reformative changes in Panjim, remaining undeterred by the prevalent political turmoil during his tenure. Dr Celsa Pinto, one of Goa’s prominent historians, documents the structural establishment of Nova Goa in her book Anatomy of a Colonial Capital: Panjim, followed by the related Colonial Panjim: Its Governance, Its People , which discusses aspects such as urban governance, jail a

The Tertiary Carmelites of Chimbel

Goa is a historian’s delight with so much of its history still being unravelled. The legacy of the Portuguese rule has been a heritage of unique standing. The Tertiary Carmelites, not to be confused with the Discalced Carmelites reformed by St Teresa of Avila, are an integral part of Goa’s past. Today, the ruins of the monuments connected with this order lie open to desecration and looting with impunity. Much less regard is offered in terms of a study and preservation of this significant historical site. The Tertiary Carmelites are in fact one of two indigenous priestly orders that welcomed Goan vocations to the priesthood. The Jesuits and other religious orders did not display a favourable attitude towards Goans, which led to the requirement of congregations that would be open to the natives of Goa. The Oratorians of Philip Neri, which came into existence in the 1680s and was recognised by the Vatican in 1707, was the first Goan priestly congregation in Estado de India. However, the

AX Trindade and His Artistic Legacy to Goa

António Xavier Trindade is indeed an exemplary Goan talent; one that has been showcased at the Fundaҫão Oriente-India. The Trindade Collection was donated to the Fundaҫão Oriente in 2004 by the Esther Trindade Trust. The collection has works of both, António Xavier Trindade and Angela Trindade (1909-1980), his daughter and noteworthy artist in her own right. Trindade was born in 1870 in Sanguem, Goa to Roman Catholic parents and went on you seek an education in art at the renowned Sir Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy School of Art in Bombay (Mumbai) at the age of 17. He then became part of the faculty in 1921 after the completion of his studies, earning a reputation as one of India’s leading artists who was well-appreciated in both Western and Indian circles. Considered a realist, Trindade would nevertheless continue to incorporate elements of the Romantic era. His technique of light and dark is similar to work by Spanish artists Diego Velázquez (Baroque) and Francisco Goya (Romanticism). His

Conversion to Christianity as an Instrument of Governing in Portuguese Goa

For centuries, the Portuguese managed to hold sway over their colonies including Goa. These colonies were difficult to govern for a variety of reasons. Goa presented its own challenges in terms of the limited Portuguese demography present in the region to govern the area and the cultural and religious divide. The Portuguese brought with them the Jewish model of conversion to Christianity to allow for integration, at least theoretically (In 1496, the Jews and Muslims in Portugal had been forced to convert to Christianity or be expelled from the country; however conversion to Christianity did not diminish the discriminatory attitude towards them).  We know that similar attitudes were held towards the Goans/Indians. In his book written between 1512 and 1515, Duarte Barbosa makes use of the word casta to represent the combination of endogamy and occupation in India that reflected a similar system upheld in Portugal. But to refer to social groups, Barbosa used the term ley de gente (type

The Genius of José Pereira

Eccentric scholars do not abound in Goa and most recently she lost one of her most enigmatic sons. Tenacious in his pursuit of refined scholarship, José Pereira formed the fourth member of an intellectual group (Mario Miranda, Alban Couto and Eusebio Rodrigues) that had sworn to resurrect intellectual endeavours so dominant in the late 19 th and early 20 th centuries, but perhaps hindered by the censorship imposed by Portuguese dictator, Salazar. He passed away after completing 84 years of age, on the 26 th of January in the USA. Though a native of Curtorim, Goa, José Pereira was born in Mumbai and spent much of his life outside the realm of his ancestry. His literary contribution is vast, amounting to 145 articles and 24 books. His knowledge spanned a range of subjects, including theology, architecture, literature and ethnomusicology. Some of his books are Hindu Theology and Golden Goa’s Art. José Pereira’s illustrious academic career began with an honours degree in Sanskrit f