Sunday, 8 November 2009

My Speech - Global Goan Convention - Muscat 2009

Subject: Preserving Goa & Its Unique Identity

Mogea Mogall Goyemkarano
Annondborit sanz tumkam somestank anvdettam

His Excellency the Ambassador of India to Oman Mr. Anil Wadhwa, President of Indian Social Club Mr. Satish Nambiar, Honourable Commissioner for NRI Affairs Mr. Eduardo Faleiro, Ex-Speaker Mr. Tomazinho Cardozo, President Mr. Flynn D’Lima the managing committee & members of the Goan community Oman, Distinguished Guests, My Dear Friends.

It is a great pleasure to be present here in your midst at the Global Goan 09 Convention here in beautiful Muscat and I thank the GCO; in particular Dr. Mario D’Souza, for giving me an opportunity to speak on Goan Identity. I am Arwin Mesquita, a resident of the coastal village of Colva in Salcette. I have mostly lived out side Goa, but during the little time that I was in Goa, I was attracted & captivated by its magical identity. I have travelled to many places around the world and realized that Goans, certainly have a treasure in Goa & its identity. I also have to admit that like a lot of other Goan brought up in the Gulf, my fluency in Konkani is limited but I am committed to learning it and hope to be as fluent as any niz Goyemkar in the near future; but for the time being I do apologise for not speaking in Konkani, on Goan Identity.
GOA is one of India’s most beautiful states and is a major tourist attraction; yes due to its natural beauty, beaches but most importantly because of its people & its prized identity, which is a blend of east & west. Goan Identity today has the best of both worlds’ i.e. Strong links from the Indian Subcontinent, coupled with a distinct western flair. The fact is that the way things are going in Goa, Goa’s Identity that we all know today, will soon be a thing of the past!! You only have to visit Goa, speak to Goans in Goa or keep abreast of the news in Goa to see for yourself. I would also like to emphasise at this point, that our world today is a very fascinating place, because of so many different cultures/identities; each of which makes our planet a very interesting place to live; and that includes our Goan Identity.
Mahatma Gandhi once said “I will open the doors and windows of my house and allow the winds of different parts of the world to flow through it. But I will not be swept off my feet.” In this increasingly globalised world I believe that, we can keep Goa’s Unique Identity and still be Global (we need to think Global & act Local).

My Dear Goans; we have to wake up urgently to the realities and decide, what we want for Goa & its identity. Goan Conventions like the one we are having today are good but I hope we appreciate the hard truth that these along with all other Goan Associations will be irrelevant; if Goa loses its essence!! In my view each one of us has 3 choices:
(1) Do Nothing, give up on Goa and let its Identity be lost forever
(2) Discuss all that we cannot do; which might as well mean giving up & doing nothing
(3) My personal favourite which is a CAN DO attitude i.e. "Let us look at what we can do in a positive/civilised manner; to preserve/protect our beautiful state.

My Fellow Goans, Please do not forget where you came from. Today, there are so many Goans outside of Goa. With our expertise & resources, we can work together to make it happen. I believe that we can do it and find solutions, to most of the obstacles/anomalies. We have a unique opportunity to use our Globally attained skills/expertise/resources to give back to our home state and also to possibly make Goa as a World Class state with a Unique Identity; and be a true example not only to the other States in India but also to other countries of the world.

Some of us here in the UAE have formed a non-profit and non-political movement called the Goan Identity Movement. The overall vision, to have Goa as a world class state, with a unique identity. We aim to organize Goans globally to work together for the betterment of Goa. For the purpose we have launched a website which will be constantly improvised to help the cause.

Let me end by stressing that we are running out of time; it’s now or never, each one of us will be responsible & accountable by our future generations, for the corrective actions not taken today. If we want a Goa that is truly authentic & truly unique for our children, let us act now. I believe that we can work together for a better GOA if we think we can! To quote a Great Person; Henry Ford, who was the founder of the Ford Motor Company “if you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right”

Thank you for a patient hearing. God bless Goa, Jai Hind.

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