Welcome to the second issue of
Goan Voice Canada
We are still in the process of finding our feet in compiling this newsletter and ask for your patience.
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The mission of Goan Voice Canada is to promote the interests of the community through the dissemination of news and information using the Internet. Goan Voice Canada sends a condensed e-mail newsletter to subscribers every two weeks.
The web site goanvoice.ca displays back issues of the newsletter and other information in greater detail. The publication of Goan Voice Canada is made possible through the support of Goan Voice UK. The Goan public, associations and village group there have donated generously to the appeal for funds. These donations have allowed us to get support from Goa for the graphic and computer skills needed to run Goan Voice Canada and Goan Voice UK.
For more information on Goan Voice Canada and details of sending display material go to goanvoice.ca/aboutus/.
Thank You -Thank You Very Much
The Bush administration abruptly backed down from a policy to automatically scrutinize, fingerprint and photograph Canadians who were born in a handful of Middle Eastern and Muslim countries including Pakistan. This would create second-class citizens of the large number of Goans here from Karachi. The change came after the Canada's foreign affairs department issued a warning about the risks of travelling to the United States. The initial US announcement left us a feeling which that famous American, Archie Bunker, put into words - "It gives me gas"!
Many however feel that the US bunker mentality is the direct result of 9/11, when a number of the hijackers were said to have made their way there from Canada. Travel to the US can still be quite trying and humiliating and experienced by Canada's famous writer Rohinton Mistry, and first South Asian Senator, Mobina Jaffer.The US Florida coast is a popular destination for sun seeking Goans. The obligatory stop for many was Graceland - to pay respects to the King !
Still, we are not out of the woods yet -the Canadian warning still stands and US visas will soon be required for all landed immigrants.
Letter from Goa
On 4th of November, Diwali, the festival of lights, was celebrated joyfully with the accompanying burning of the effigies of Narkasura on the previous night.
One hardly notices the All Saints Day on the first but reserve all their devotion and presence in the church to the All Souls Day. All the cemeteries in the State were cleaned, spruced up and some tomb stones given a coat of paint. Of course, the Assagao cemetery is definitely the neatest one in the State. Visit it if you don't believe me! By the way, Christians in densely populated areas in different parts of the country are gradually turning to the Hindu tradition of cremation as the cemeteries get increasingly crowded. Would the Christians in Goa entertain such an idea?
It was announced on 8 November that ALL telephone numbers in Goa will have seven digits from 10 November. ALL numbers have to be prefixed by the number 2. For example, 123456 will become 2123456. You will therefore need to dial 00-91-832-212 3456.
Travelling in the State was a pleasure with a coat of tar administered last year. However, it has worn off within a year, revealing the treacherous potholes, which Alexyz has immortalised in his cartoons. And the traffic is nothing short of chaos, not only in the cities like Mapusa, Panjim, Vasco, Margao (with the traffic island still incomplete) and Ponda, but even in our fast urbanising villages like Calangute, Siolim, Navelim, Colva and elsewhere. The increasing population is the root of most misfortunes. The Police Traffic Cell itself concedes that fatal accidents have increased by 16 per cent while other accidents rose by 19 percent during the past year.
Yes, we have to keep moving ahead, particularly with the tourism traffic almost at Goa's doorstep. The trickle has just begun&and while travelling from Calangute to Candolim one hardly gets a glimpse of the green Goa countryside or the lovely mansions because the glorious sight is now hedged on either side with gaddes (kiosks) run by Rajasthanis, Kashmiris and others, glass-fronted shops displaying all sorts of clothes and curious, gaudily painted restaurants longing for guests, hotels in all sizes and designs&Drop in there at nighttime and the glittering, colourful lights ill give you the impression that it is Christmas night.
And for the avid tourists, the tourism highway right up to Arambol is now complete with the bridge in place on the silvery Chapora river at Siolim-Chopdem. Now the taluka of Pernem is eyeing a sizeable slice of the tourism cake. For those bitten by the eco-bug, there is a unique shrine (though rather neglected), hidden in the scenic valley of Toldem in the Sanguem Taluka, en route to the famed Mahadev temple at Tambdi Surla. At the Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary there are new entrants to the animal flock. The Forest Department has acquired three Black Bucks (Antelope cervicapra) from the Poona national zoo.
The talk of the proposed Mopa international airport seems to be still alive. The Union Minister for Civil Aviation Shripad Naik seems to be all for it whereas others, even his party members, don't seem to be enthused by the proposal. Moreover, we have just read Defence Minister George Fernandes saying that the Sea Bird naval airport in Karwar will be thrown open to civilian aircraft.
From November 1, the government has privatised the collection of toll fees on Goa's 13 ferry routes, connecting idyllic villages and islands across rivers. Most visitors to Goa are often thrilled at the sight of the ferries against the panoramic backdrop at Chorao, Divar, Corjuem, Calvim and other places. However, the All India Trade Union Congress fears that the government might slowly go in for total privatisation of the entire River Navigation Department.
Governor Fazal Mohammed has departed and Goa sports a new governor in Kidar Nath Sahani since October 26. Sahani is said to be a strong BJP man, but he has assured Goans that political affiliations won't come in his way of handling his gubernatorial duties. May the new incumbent of Cabo Raj Niwas live up to his word of honour!
The thieves and dacoits keep mocking the cops in even broad daylight, and from as close as the police quarters like in Porvorim. At Agalli-Fatorda near Margao culprits broke into the third floor apartment of businessman Tajjudin Noorani and decamped with gold ornaments worth around Rs.1.27 lakh. Yet Police Chief ID Shukla feels that his force is doing a fine job. Shukla says that the police investigations disclose that the burglars enter majestically via the front door rather than bother to take the trouble to scale the tiles or walk up to the kitchen door. Murders too are not uncommon nowadays. Ms Maria Cynthia Rodrigues, a 34-year-old housewife, was found with her throat slit in her Apartment just opposite Hotel Marriott in the afternoon, on October 23.
Ask the young folk (also the elders) and they would relish relate the spicy tale of a woman's ghost replying if one dialled a particular telephone number in Saligao, particularly at midnight. The good ghost would tell the caller what latter was wearing and all other particulars". The rumours took nearly a fortnight to die down. Ghost stories aside, Goa will be caught in a perfect nightmare if the fears that the Powergrid Corporation of India Ltd's Western Region Grid is on the verge of collapse (because its five constituent States have been overdrawing power) come true.
And there were the series of four bomb hoaxes--ICICI bank in Panjim, GMC Hospital, Sirigao and the Bom Jesus Basilica in Old Goa-sending the cops in a tizzy.
Editor: Joel D'Souza
In the Goan Voice UK [Selected excerpts from GoaNet-UK]
See the Goan Voice UK
The Times, 1 Nov. Wigmore Hall. Clad in a sari of sunset pink, orange and gold, the soprano Patricia Rozario made a rare recital appearance at the Wigmore Hall in a programme as cunningly crafted as it was artfully performed ... so winning is Rozario's personality, so generous her performing spirit, that roars of applause and vast bouquets descended upon her at the end& (P.S. Patricia will be in Toronto December for a performance at St. Michaels Cathedral).
Congratulations to Diana Rodrigues on being made an Honorary Fellow of Brunel University. A former long-serving member of staff in the Registry at West London Institute/Brunel University for her commitment and services to the University. http://www.brunel.ac.uk/news/sept02/fellows2002.html.
In the Times 7 Nov.: A cruise down the coast of Africa offering a chance to see the full eclipse of the sun from the sea has been more than halved in price. The 15-night trip with Orient Lines, sailing from Mombasa on November 27, is available from £1,199 with meals, entertainment and return flights from London. 0845-658 805 For the latest issue of Goan Voice UK go to http://www.goacom.com/goanvoice-uk/.
From Goan Voice UK (formerly Goanet-UK)
Editor: Eddie Fernandes
RECEPTION AT ST. MARK'S CATHOLIC CHURCH
DATE: Sunday, December 1, 2002
TIME: 2:00 p.m.
PLACE: St. Mark's Catholic Church
325 Marine View Avenue
Belmont, CA 94002
A Reception will be held in the Church Hall immediately following the Mass.
Please bring in your favorite hor d'oeuvre or tea time snack for the pot-luck buffet. Soft Drinks will be provided. You are welcome to bring in any other beverages.
You are also invited to add a touch of our culture to the festivity, whether it be in song or dance. Your performance will be most welcome.
Let us all plan to be part of this celebration in the true spirit of our Goan community.
If you have any questions, please contact: Matilda Fernandes
Tel. No. (650) 952-2743 (evenings)
HAMILTON GOAN ASSOCIATION
Annual Christmas Dinner and Dance Extravaganza
Saturday, November 30th, 2002
Liuna Gardens, 526 Winona Road, Stoney Creek, Ontario
Reception: 5:30 PM Sit-down Dinner: 6:30 PM.
Dance to the world famous Goan Band from Toronto, "NIGHT FEVER
$ 30:00 per person HGA Members
$ 35.00 per person Non-Members
$ 25.00 per person Dependent Children of HGA members
Deadline date for tickets orders: Nov 5th 200
For tickets and to donate a door or raffle prize please contact:
Clarerose Mascarenhas (905)578 7828; Yhuela Mascarenhas (905)575 9610; Olavo Ferreira (905)845 6793, Oakville/Mississauga.
People Places and Things
BOOK OF THE WEEK:
'Family Matters' by Rohinton Mistry
By Shirley Saad
From the Life & Mind Desk
Published 10/22/2002 7:00 AM
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SAN DIEGO, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- "Family Matters" by Rohinton Mistry, Knopf, $26.00, 434 pages.
In Rohinton Mistry's "Family Matters," retired professor Nariman Vakeel suffers from Parkinson's disease and osteoporosis. On top of that he has fallen, while taking his evening walk on Bombay's uneven pavement, and broken his ankle.
From his bed we get a look back at his love for Lucy, the Goan girl his parents forbade him to marry. We also see Yasmin, the widow they found for him, and her two children, Jal and Coomy. Yasmin and Lucy are both dead now, and Jal and Coomy have been taking care of their stepfather in their dilapidated apartment. Jal is an ineffective, mild man, but his sister Coomy has been nursing 30 years of hate and resentment.
A GOAN AT NIAGARA WALK
Tim C. de Mello (of Goanet and Goacom) successfully completed the Casino-Niagara Marathon Walk of 42 Km (26 miles) on October 27. That Tim, probably the only Goan and Indian participating in the walk, finished 66th out of 86 hardly matters since there were merely two competitors of his retired/age group. He took just over 6 hr and 53 min, averaging about 15 min per mile. He trained for the events for nearly 28 weeks, as one of his activities during retirement.
YOUR NEW YEARS RESOLUTION
By Tim C. de Mello, P. Eng.
The holiday season is approaching fast. Tis the season to be jolly (and to over indulge).
Yes, Goan Christmas delicacies are truly delicious but very unkind to our bodies. Most Goan "kuswar" is either made of coconut, deep fried sugared dough or a combination of both. Combine this with a nice tasty, fatty, soropotel and you have all the ingredients necessary to help you gain a few more pounds, get your cholesterol count up and increase the plaque linings in your veins and arteries. All of this inevitably leads to hypertension and/or heart disease. This is the leading cause of death in North America and particularly so for those of us from South Asia.
Our life styles have changed significantly from those of our forefathers. Not only do we enjoy a continuous season of plenty but also our exercise routine is next to non-existent. Why walk to the corner grocery store when you can drive there? The net result is that obesity in North America has now reached epidemic proportions even among children.
What is the solution? Do we have to buy into the numerous diet programs that many claim can reduce your weight and tone up your muscles to near miraculous proportions? Most of these "miracle" diet programs have been shown to be nothing short of a fraud. They do not work.
The solution, therefore, is common sense. Eat less i.e. in moderation. Keep your nutrition well balanced and exercise moderately, but regularly e.g. a 15 min walk about three times a week. This regimen gets more critical as one passes middle age.
Sometimes, it is difficult to maintain a regular exercise regimen. You may need the support of a group. This is what I did soon after I reached 60 years of age. I joined Canada Fit a program designed to train you to walk or run a Marathon.
With this group discipline some of our walks started at 5:15 am and with the camaraderie that you develop with members of the group, it is a little easier to achieve your goal.
I achieved mine on October 27, 2002 (http://home.ican.net/~demellt/marathon/) after a 28 week program of training.
You can do it too!
Try to make it one of your New Years resolutions.
YOUR ANCESTRAL HOME IN GOA - How safe is it?
By Tim C. de Mello
The immigrants are coming! The immigrants are coming! In large numbers.
Out of state Indians are flocking to Goa for easy pickings. Goa is one of the, if not the, wealthiest states in India. Employment is easy to find and the wages are very good. A common laborer is paid a minimum of Rs. 100/- per day. This is much higher than they can get in many other parts of India. All these new immigrants need somewhere to stay. And they squat anywhere they can. If your property is not clearly defined with a boundary wall they could (sometimes aided and abetted by the local Goans) squat in one corner and wait to be challenged. If this does not happen soon their temporary lodgings are converted into semi-permanent lodgings using bricks and mortar. Once this happens, it is too late to remove them without compensating them heavily. Worse still, if they are not removed they can claim the whole property and that will next to impossible to change.
Many Goans have lost their properties this way.
Are you going to be the next Goan to confirm this statistic?
Property values in Goa have gone up considerably. It is my belief that ancestral properties were bequeathed to us for safe keeping for our children. However, if one wants to dispose of ones ancestral property one has to ensure that it clear of all liens and challenges from squatters. If not, it is truly a legal nightmare.
Prevention is definitely better than the cure in this case. How can overseas Goans do this? They can hire the services of companies like GOACOM that specialize in this type of service. These companies not only keep an eye out for illegal squatters but will also inspect the properties regularly and furnish reports recommending repairs that need to be made.
Your ancestors handed you a rich legacy, which includes your property. Many siblings may share in this legacy. It is imperative that all the shareholders come together and decide how the property should be dealt with.
Ignoring your ancestral property is tantamount to losing it.
Protect it. The changing political and security climate in the West and many other countries where Goans reside may force you to consider the question:
"What if . . . . . . "
Act now before it is too late!
MRS. CARVALHO IS 100
(From the PULSE of the G.O.A)
Mrs. Julia Maria Carvalho celebrated her 100th Birthday on Sunday, September 15, 2002. Born in Anjuna, Bardez, Goa, Mrs. Carvalho was raised in a humble Catholic home.
Her 100th Birthday was celebrated by Rev. Fr. Martin Pereira at 2250 South Millway, Mississauga, Ontario. Amidst a congregation of over 90 relatives and friends at the reception that followed, one of her sons, Anthony Carvalho, said a few words about his mother.He truly upheld his mother by a beautiful quote: What is a home without a mother. For it is said that the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world
There were numerous overseas birthday wishes from a number of dignitaries namely: The Pope, Queen Elizabeth, Canadas Governor General Adriene Clarkson, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion, Mi ssissauga Councillor Ward 8 Katie Mahoney, Steven W. Mahoney, M.P. Mississauga West, John Snobelen, MPP Mississauga West.
Mrs. Carvalho thanked those who organized the beautiful celebration, and those who attended. She concluded by telling everyone present to say the Rosary and love one another. The Hall was then filled with the words of Goas most renowned song Viva re Viva asking for Gods Blessing.
CONFERENCE ON ELDER ABUSE
See Ontario Seniors Secretariat http://www.gov.on.ca/mczcr/seniors/
Elder abuse is the focus of a conference on Nov. 18 and 19 in Toronto sponsored by the Ontario Seniors Secretariat.
Between four and ten percent of Ontario Seniors 58,000 to 145, 000 have experienced some form of elder abuse, according to 2000 Statistics Canada study. Sixty-eight percent of seniors who were physically abused say they were assaulted by a family member.
ROHINTON MISTRY LEAVES US TOUR HALFWAY
Ajit Jain in Toronto
Novelist Rohinton Mistry is sick and tired of facing "unbearable" humiliation at the hands of US customs and so out of disgust he has cancelled his tour of America halfway.
In the face of racial profiling following the September 11 attacks, "a brown skin and a beard are not a felicitous combination", he told the Globe and Mail daily. So, he told his publishers Alfred A Knopf, that he was fed up. The writer cancelled his tour to Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Salt Lake city, Utah, Iowa City and Madison, Wisconsin.
"He has been extremely unhappy about the way he has been treated in airports around the US in the first half of the tour," a representative of Alfred A Knopf was quoted as saying in the front-page report.
"As a person of colour he was stopped repeatedly and rudely at each airport along the way... to the point where the humiliation for both he and his wife has become unbearable."
The US Immigration and Naturalisation Services recently stated that all people, irrespective of their citizenship, who were born in West Asia will be fingerprinted and photographed while entering the US. To this list they added Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. So all Canadians born in these countries will also be subject to this kind of special attention.