Post by Vivian A. DSouza
I am sure there are a lot of similar stories to be told by Goan pioneers
to the Arabian Gulf and Iran, and stories focusing on each of the East
African countries viz. Kenya, Uganda,
Tanganyika and Zanzibar. While there was a common experience of living in
colonies and "protectorates", each country presented unique experiences.
Burma at one time was the magnet for Goan migration. The advancing
Japanese invasion during World
War II caused an exodus of Goans, sometimes overland by foot over
difficult mountainous and forested terrain. I don't know if anyone has
documented those experiences.
In a sense, this is a bottomless pit, because there are so many stories,
old and new, waiting to be heard and more in the making. Only the other day
we were told about a Goan having skippered a rescue ship that made the
difference when "Hemingway was almost fatally injured".
See http://bit.ly/11UknvL and
On the other hand, because we might not be aware of some of the earlier
resources does not mean these do not exist. To give some examples:
* Yvonne Vaz-Ezdani's *Songs of the Survivors* tells the stories of Goans
in Burma, specially of how they coped with the 1942 Japanese bombing of the
then British colony. The book was published in 2007 and is now almost out
of print. It is available in the main libraries in Goa and probably
* Dr Teresa Albuquerque, the Bombay/Mumbai-based historian, has written on
the *Goans of Kenya* in 1999. See http://bit.ly/GoansOfKenya She has also
done a more recent work titled *Goan Pioneers in Bombay*
* The Ben Antao-edited *Goa Masala*, published in Canada and Goa, has
reminiscences by "Africander (as we called them) Goans".
* Braz Menezes' *Just Matata* and *More Matata* touches the subject, in the
shape of a novel. Peter Nazareth's *The General Is Up* gives you glimpses
of Goan life in Africa ("Dambia" or Uganda?), though again in fictional
* Dr. Stella Mascarenhas-Keyes' study of Catholic migration, from the
1980s, has also been published. Its focus includes the migrant-sending
villages (primarily Moira in this case, though called Amora for the purpose
of the study) and also the networks that expats have built up among
* Goanetters Tony de Sa and Reena Martins have been working on the diaspora
in Africa and Bombay, respectively, written with more of a journalistic
* Alan Machado Prabhu has handled the much-overlooked exodus of Goans to
Mangalore (which included a large number of Catholics), as history in his
book *Sarasvati's Children* and as fiction in his *Shades Within Shadows*.
* Goans in the Kudds of Bombay has been studied by researchers like Olga
Valladares way back in 1958.
* Kaun Banenge Crorepati one-time cameraman Ajay Noronha recently came out
with a film on his family, which in a way is also a wider story of the
Goans in Nagpur. Other books and works cover smaller time frames or
particular individuals, but these too give an insight into the Goan lives
in diverse parts of the planet. We have autobiographies and biographies of
Pio Gama Pinto, J.M.Nazareth, Aquino de Braganca, and it would be nice to
see the work of former Kenyan deputy speaker Fitz de Souza. J. Clement Vas'
*Eminent Goans* is a very useful compilation.
* JB Pinto of Saligao did a study of Goan migration in the early 1960s,
while for the Portuguese speakers and readers, Pedro Joaquim Peregrino da
Costa wrote *A expansao do Goes pelo mundo* in 1956.
* Lambert Mascarenhas' *Goa Today* (as Melvyn of the Melvyn+Rose fame would
tell you) has played a key role in linking the expat community from the
1960s. Sites like GoaCom.com (in the Anglophone world), Goa-World.net
(particularly in the Gulf) and SuperGoa (in the Lusophone Goan world) have
also played the linkers' role.
And even while we discuss this, I understand that Dr. Satyanarayana Adapa
is no longer in the Chair of Diaspora Studies at Goa University, which he
had taken over only a few months ago. Please correct me if wrong on this. FN
FN +91-832-2409490 or +91-9822122436 fn at goa-india.org