First of all, Goa by default is known as the land of fun. It is the place where people from all over the world flock to have a slice of a lovely holiday. When it comes to sun sea and sand there is no place in the country which can match the enormity of Goa as the favourable destination. Despite its small size, it is therefore admirable that Goa has made it on many a travel portals favourable pages and ranks and beaten many a destination as the preferred travel spot of the country.
Foreign weddings in Goa have been synonymous with the beauty of this land and it is no surprise therefore that hundreds of weddings are hosted on Goan beaches and the entire Goan landscape throughout the year. These wedding couples select Goa as their choice because of the sense of cheer that such a holiday destination can bring to their wedding and for the lovely memories that can come along with it.
How fortunate are we to be Goan?
Goans probably do not realize what a lucky civilization they are to be continuously living in this part of the world and having the Goan experience for them to share on a platter. However as is well known, something of too much by your side is never given its due importance or acknowledgment and the same goes with the Goan experience of being Goan in the first place. Our continuous stay in Goa often relieves our conscious selves to enjoy ourselves to the fullest. You will therefore have many Goans who may not have explored Goa as much as many others from outside the state have already done. It is therefore an embarrassment at times to hear some fine details of Goan places and events from people from other parts of India, which you might not be aware of. Many Goans do not frequent the beaches or its other beautiful locations for years although they may be only ten minutes away from them. Its unfortunate that we don’t really enjoy Goa as much as we should.
Being Goan is different
Besides the beauty and the holidays spirit, Goa is essentially peaceful in comparison to any part of India. A rich indo-portuguese culture, the great Goan nature of being succegado, the charm of some lovely Goan phrases and proverbs, the inherent Goan habits and the distinct superior flavor of anything “ganvtti” from Goa, adds to our repertoire of being a distinguished and blessed class of people in this part of the world. Naturally, festivity of any kind finds its rightful place in Goa like a bird finds its nest.
A wedding in Goa is a gift to cherish
Getting married in Goa is always a great feeling and a lovely gift from God that many Goans may not acknowledge or consciously realize about. It is only when you observe how a catholic wedding is celebrated anywhere else in India that you would crave for the Goan experience. Compare the Goan wedding celebration to any other in the rest of the country and you will then know that we in Goa are absolutely fortunate to have such a great experience which many other people in the rest of the country may be actually yearning for, but may never be able to have. It is simply the dynamics of Goa and Goans living inside it that makes the Goan wedding into a thrillsome affair that it is.
The Goan catholic wedding is indeed a full fledged fun experience that many other communities in India would find hard to rival with. We have so many fun wedding rituals in Goa which have come down from tradition over the ages and the whole family rallies around to partake in them, building great camaraderie , love and invokes a fullsome festive spirit. Add our liberal sense of letting our hair down longer than others would, and you have a potent mix of a great party mood running into every spine.
The frolic , the fun and the excitement before the Goan wedding
Much before the date of the wedding is the engagement which is a celebration in itself. There is bound to be a small get together, prayers , some great food with some lovely Goan dishes, some fun ,music and a party to go with it. Soon after the engagement, the preparations for the wedding can be a fun experience in itself. The cheer that sets in the hearts of the bridal couple in Goa is for all to see. The planning that goes along with it and the visits at the various wedding vendors to prepare for the wedding broaden the horizons of how to manage things and enriches one’s experience. On the eve of the wedding you have many traditional activities such as the”Bhikreanchem jevonn” , the “Dennem” , the bachelors party or the bachelorettes party, the”wedding roce ceremony”, the familiar sounds of the Goan dekhni and the whole festive spirit with the décor and the newly painted house is all so much of excitement that you would want it to stay with you for a long time. The good Goan food, music and song on the days before the wedding is a normal and happy diet of entertainment which will continue until the wedding day and after.
Among Catholics, such a feeling is generated more in Goa than probably anywhere else in the country and the sense of festivity cannot be compared to any other in the whole life of the respective bride or the groom. If indeed you are in an old Goan house, celebrating your wedding which is mostly the case in Goa, the excitement is even more with lot of space and comfort to engage in the festivities at leisure.
Oh What Fun On The Wedding Day!
On the wedding day, the fun reaches to a crescendo when every one gets ready to launch the big day for which they have been expectantly waiting. For the bridal couple, it is the day to pinch themselves and check if it is for real. The bridesmaids , the flower girls, the page boys and the crystal white wedding gown make a great spectacle for a new bride to revel and soak in the joy that such a wonderful day brings to her in Goa. She can pretend to be a Goan queen for a while with a lot of people at her beck and call.
When the time arrives for the blessings, there is the mood of love, affection and emotion brought to the fore with warm embraces, hugs ,kisses and often tears of joy and love flowing spontaneously all of which are earnestly captured as the cameras get rolling with pictures. Also the bride puts her best step forward for many other photogenic clicks which are soon headed to adorn her wedding albums.
The Goan wedding nuptials is the most awaited ceremony for a wedding in Goa. We are blessed to have some lovely whitewashed churches all over the state. The ambience around the magnificence of Goan churches lends a wholesome and warm picture with plenty of room to mix and get ready for the nuptial ceremony. The wedding car comes in with the murmurs of the “wows” and the bride steps out in a crystal white picture of herself to be with her foreverness standing close to receive her into his life. As her father leads her to the altar and the choir chimes the hymns, a distinct sense of Goan solemnity sets in the whole nuptial ceremony.
As the well planned ceremony concludes, the bridal couple is a picture of joy outside the Goan church after having posed for many altar pictures in the church inside. Soon a queue of guests forms spontaneously to extend their wishes to the bridal couple and the atmosphere turns very touching and a new step in the lives of the bride and the groom comes to the fore as their journey of life begins together.
But wait. The fun pinnacle is yet to take off. It is indeed time for the bridal couple to zoom to the wedding reception venue to celebrate their union of love. The wedding reception in Goa is typically an expansive outdoor location beautifully decorated and adorned with lights, glitter and the festive mood.
At the wedding reception, the master of ceremonies in Goa brings in the required cheer by coordinating with the band to get on with the start and the bridal couple soon ascends into a new realm by taking their first steps as man and wife among a host of lovely people, who herald their super moment by showering them with hands full of confetti and a lot of cheerful noise which makes for some wonderful memories most often captured on camera . As the wedding reception moves along, the guests enjoy to the hilt with the music tempo reaching a crescendo and then melting down into mellow finale moments where the couple ends the celebration with a passionate kiss.
Hold on! The celebrations are not over. The next day they simply continue in the good old Goan tradition at the home of the bride in what is called as the “pottonem” where the bridal couple arrives with close family members and friends to the brides house in the evening and are welcomed with the typical Goan cheer, incense and fireworks renting the air. Soon there are prayers followed by cocktails and the great Goan food to go along with it. Its party mood again.
Goa is absolutely unique and one of a kind in the world
Goa is distinct with its largeness at a wedding celebration and you can feel the sense of freedom to celebrate in Goa which is probably missing anywhere else in India. Also uptill now, most Goan weddings are allowed to go on until 12 pm midnight at many wedding venues in Goa and that is a plus. I don’t think this relaxation is extended anywhere else in the country where the sound will mostly be shut off by 10 pm. More than that, the Goan mood and the Goan culture is what makes our Goan weddings so very enjoyable and so very exciting. No doubt friends and family scattered all over the world want to come home for a Goan wedding which brings in not only memories but also reinvigorates special bonds among Goans which is the foundation of the Goan relationship spanning across all continents of the world at large. Goans keeping in touch with their homeland is indeed the key to keep the Goan spirit alive and active wherever you may be.