Malar Bonderam 2003

(click on the thumbnail images for larger ones)



Photography : Beatrice Pinto
Transmission : EXPRESSIONS



BONDERAM - Harvest Festival 2001


Sao Mathias (Divar) celebrated Bonderam on August 19, 2001 (Sunday) in true traditional spirit, alongside a wonderful family atmosphere. Tiny tots, children, parents and senior citizens were catered on the day with various activities which suited every Goan's taste.

BONDERAM festival kicked off from Chinachem Bhatt also called China Town. The parade led by flag bearers representing the colours of each ward, wended its way through Sao Mathias Church road to Sinquerim on the North border of Malar and lastly to XIM (Border) before winding-up at the Flag Post. Also accompanying them were the Traditional Brass Band, who were well appreciated.

The people of Sao Mathias also used the occasion to foster the cause of SPORTS. After last year's huge success when the Islanders invited Noel Lima Leitao, President of Vasco Sports Club and the great Andrew D'Souza one of India's great, this year it was the turn of Goa United Sports Academy to unveil its team. This Academy who currently trains over 500 players in Calangute, Baga, Moira, Candolim and Divar paraded 40 of its boys in their colours. The Coaches Fabian D'Souza, Augustine Dias, John Coutinho and Roshan Kumar joined the boys. The aim of GUSA is to build a culture of football amongst the youth to give them guidance, make them more disciplined, better person and responsible citizens.

Leading the Fultim Fulam (Flowers) group was a well known 'Corina Joe'. He dressed as 'Bappa' and also trained his group. Roy Azavedo lead the Amboi group whose theme was "Adim ani Atam". Belsur waddo depicting Fisherfolks was lead by Tony Gomes. Xetkari group, in their traditional clothes were lead by Elten Picardo. Felix Rodrigues also fondly known as "Tettu" presented a theme of 'Old is Gold', Pez and Kalchi Koddi. Also Guest appearance by Agapito Coutinho as St. Mathias, Patron Saint of the Village.

This musically rich St. Mathias Community has a tradition of promoting young MUSICAL talents. This year there were bands all the way from Margao Black Lace, Romantics, Headlines and Young Faces. The villagers were treated to some beautiful melodies. In Malky a new singing star was born at this year's Bonderam. The youngster will not forget her performance in a hurry. It is hoped that these young talented bands will return to perform on the Island soon.

The Senior citizens were treated to some Nostalgic music by the Legendary Remy Colaco and the Britton Brothers. On this World - Goa Day these distinguished TIATR artists treated the villagers with an emotional performance. Remy Colaco received a standing ovation o his farewell performance Song "Goa". He encouraged the villagers to love their land, and safeguard the KONKANI language. This great artist who started performing since 1944 with the other great greats of yesteryears, C. Alvares, Jacinto Vaz, M. Boyer, Minguel Rod etc. will be greatly missed and the villagers after the show spontaneously wished him well. He also made a point to congratulate the villagers for arranging such a joyous show.

The other artist recipient of State and Cultural Award Herman Gildo Camilo, popularly known as H. Britton and his brother T. Britton in their usual fashion were in top form. With laughter, and jovial act with perfect impersonation the duo gave an eye catching performance. These natural born Tiatrists will be a permanent feature at St. Mathias family Bonderam and they loved every minute of it.

Also on this occasion the WORLD-GOADAY a Song specially composed by Mr. Basilio Magno, based in Spain was aired.

After the positive feedback the organisers received this year from the large crowd, in future Bonderam will provide a platform to promote SPORTS / KHELL achievements, acknowledge great players and teams, in MUSIC / SANGEET promote talented young singers, musicians and bands, in TIATR / NATAK to give an opportuity to upcoming singers comedians and applaud great performers of past years. In association with Goa World day, Goans around the world will be able to join the St. Mathias Bonderam to salute and be proud of young and old talents in Goa.

Mrs. Nirmala Sawant, the M.L.A. of St. Mathias Village (Tiswadi Constituency), urged the people to continue this rich culture on traditional lines. Making a strong speech she said, she really enjoyed this year's festival, the wonderful parades and the family friendly Bonderam were the young and old could enjoy in a relaxed atmosphere. Mrs. Sawant emphatically remarked, "Excellent Performance" and praised the Committee for its superb organisation. Moti Vaz a veteran of past Bonderam said "this year's festival was how bonderam was always supposed to be with family involvement and long may it continue".

Breaking with tradition the organisers pulled of a master stroke, by asking each ward to take part in traditional clothes, recycled or home made. Almost every family were represented at this year's parade, it was also decided not to cause rivalry, there were no cash prizes and competition amongst groups, so, everyone was able to enjoy and let their hair down. As the President Mr. Camilo Menezes, commented "with the minimal use of 'Fottasis', the co-operation of Police and villagers, the overall WINNERS were 'THE ST. MATHIAS FAMILY BONDERAM', WHICH ENDED PEACEFULLY.

Bonderam a flag festival from now on will be celebrated in a truly family friendly way and are here to stay, so future generation will continue to enjoy. He also called upon Malarcars all around the World to support future Bonderam so these over 400 years old tradition can be maintained and recognised all over India and the World through the media and internet, so with this in mind the organisers can be contacted with comments, suggestions and good will gestures on

To sum-up, the organisers will work alongwith the villagers that the future Sao Mathias Traditional Family Bonderam will have minimum use of 'Fottas'. We will work towards having Fancy Parades in groups / troupes, no cash prizes, so we eiliminate rivalry and bad feelings amongst the villagers. We will also give a platform to Sports, Tiatrs, Music etc.


click on thumbnail images for larger images


Goa’s professional fancy dress artist Agostinho Coutinho native of St Mathias dressed as the Patron Saint, leading the Bonderam Festival.

Ten Flag bearers of different wards marching through the lush green roads of this picturesque MALAR Village.

The huge crowd watching the traditional family Bonderam.

Felix Rodrigues  popularly known as “Tettu” and his troupe serving PEZ and KALCHI KODI at the backdrop of palm trees and paddy fields at Chepeant.

Corina Joe as “Bappa” and his group depicting as the “FULTIM FULAM” approaching Malar Square.

Last year’s World Goa Day awardee Victor  Athaide and his XETKARI group including young framers performing at the harvest festival.

The dignitaries witnessing the fancy dress participant’s from the stage set up at the Flag square.

Ashley Fernandes displaying his skills as a modern day Footballer and Kevin Menezes as the footballer of the bye gone era.

Goa United Sports Academy parading forty of its boys from Our Lady of Divar High School proudly watched by coordinator Roshan Kumar and coach Fabian D’souza.

Gemma Fernandes and Bebeto Crasto beautifully dressed as flower venders at this years family festival.


Athmaram as Shivaji and his soldiers keeping a watchful eye over the proceedings.

KONKANI State and Cultural award winner  H. Britton enthralled the crowd with a magnificent comical performance.

Senior Citizen were treated to some nostalgic music by the legendary Remy Colaco and he received  a standing ovation on his farewell appearance at the festival at St. Mathias.

The Margao bands Black Lace, Romantics, Head lines and the Young faces treated the youngest with the latest hits.

Chief guest M/s. Nirmala Sawant MLA of Tiswadi Constituency in a powerful speech congratulated the villages for maintaining their rich culture in a traditional manner and presenting an excellent and lively family Bonderam.


Captions by Mario Fernandes 
Photos By Click Romeo & Tony Lobo

"The Islanders" - Share the Goan love of music
Based in Toronto, Canada.

Andrew DeSa started his singing career at a very young age when he was schooling at Monte de Guirim. After his graduation, he went to Bombay and did some gigs. He soon found an oppurtunity to go to Kuwait and was employed in a Bank, but due to his busy schedule he was unable to pursue his musical talents.

He loved music so much and he didn't lose hope. He encouraged his two children, Ken (who plays guitar) and LeeAnn (vocals, keyboards,violin) who quickly embraced music.

He presently lives in Toronto, Canada and is employed with one of the local banks. Seeing as how the music industry is booming in North America he decided to form a band for exposure for his daughter and his love of music.

And when it came to naming the band they called themselves " The Islanders" being from the beautiful Island of Divar. They have come up with a C.D entitled "The Islanders" which features several good songs in English, Konkani and Hindi. Since they are far away from their homeland, they have come up with " Viva Bonderam" the song especially for the Bonderam harvest festival.

Download "Viva Bonderam" in Mp3 format

Enjoy the Music!

Best Regards,

Excitement Of Bonderam

On August 19, St Mathias village was full of excitement, fun and we could see so many people enjoying themselves, the one and only their traditional malar Bonderam. But the most interesting thing was that people of this village settled outside Divar were seen with their families participating in the Bonderam.

The organisers should be congratulated for their dedication, hardwork and for bringing Bonderam back on track as it was some years back when we were young.

Jerry D’Souza, Divar, Tiswadi

Bonderam flies high

Bonderam rolled up its flags last week, but WEEKENDER has to pay tribute to a wonderful festival, held by a wonderful people, on a wonderful island

The island of Divar is so beautiful, it takes your breath away. At first sight it looks uninhabited and you realise that while Panjim, Margao, Mapusa, Vasco have an identity of their own, they get it from the people who inhabit them. In Divar it's the other way around. The island inhabits the people and they guard it jealously, so jealously that large numbers of diehard Divarkars will not hear of a bridge joining them to the mainland.

Your tensions melt away as you stand on the ferry and watch the emerald island gliding softly towards you, yes, that's the impression you get, because the water is so calm, you feel the ferry is standing still and the island is floating forward to gather you to herself.

The ferry was jammed with two-wheelers and a large assortment of people of all ages and disposition. A large eyed grandma standing next to a slender youth whose sidelocks were an unbelievable millimetre wide running all the way in a continuous line from his ears along his jawline to meet at his chin. There was a buzz of quiet conversation, an occasional chuckle in the few minutes that the ferry crossing took, as if the tranquillity of the island was working its magic on her visitors. The funny thing was, they were all going to the Bonderam festival at Divar, which has got to be one of the noisiest and most colourful festivals in Goa.

The route to Bonderam was along a smooth road that curved gently through pretty hamlets dotted with lovely old Portuguese styled architecture. And yet Bonderam goes back to the Pre-Portuguese era, where Gauvda tribes controlled parcels of land. Tribal chieftans fought a constant battle to maintain the undisturbed boundaries of their land holdings. A major fight would ensue and later a mutual agreement would be arrived at. At harvest time, the tribes would each march aggressively on their respective land holdings and with much posturing, wave their flags and bang the flagstaffs on the ground. Some would play music with their own indigenous musical instruments. The less musically inclined tribals would pelt the enemy with fotass (bamboo pea shooters which work on the same principal as bicycle pumps) loaded with `ansaes' or `theofuam'. Theofuam stings like billy-o and the pain lasts and lasts.

After the Portuguese invaded Goa, the gaunkari system which was prevailing gave way to the Communidades. Initially, there were three Communidades in Divar: Piedade, Sao Mathias and Malar. The Piedade Communidade was later sub-divided into two, Goltim and Navelim. The story varies slightly here. One of the organisers told us that there were three communidades: Navelim, Goltim and Malar. Navelim and Goltim united to form Divar and Malar maintain their own identity.

To maintain the tradition of the tribal folk, the communidades introduced a new festival called Bonderam (the flag-festival). In this festival, instead of the flags of the community, the national flags of different countries were introduced, as also the fights of fotass (guns made out of bamboos). The old tradition continued even though the Portuguese changed the land boundaries.

After the liberation of Goa in 1961, the Communidades became powerless and the festival was abandoned due to lack of funds. In 1984 the Piedade Youth Association (PYA) decided it was time to get in touch with their roots and they took it upon themselves to keep the tradition alive. Presently, PYA has given a new dimension to this festival, with the active participation of all the villagers and the ancient touch being brought back.

So there you have it, an almost 600 year old tradition has come down through the ages. Bonderam takes pride of place as being one of the oldest festivals in this festival festooned state. And the villagers of Divar rise nobly to the occasion.

There are actually two Bonderam festivals in Divar. The Malar Bonderam is always held one week before the more popular Divar Bondram.

Malar is a village on Divar island whose inhabitants claim that they are Malakars and not Divarkars. They celebrate Bonderam in the more traditional way with absolutely no floats.

The main Bonderam festival is celebrated on the fourth Saturday of August. This year it was last Saturday, August 25, 2001.

The festival is replete with flags, colourful processions, floats, brass bands and mock battles emulating the property wars that excited the tribals in days of yore. Those battles were commonplace until a century ago.

Bonderam flies high!

Bonderam is listed as a Hindu festival yet the morning starts for a large Catholic population with the ritual of cutting the first sheaf of paddy. This is ceremoniously done by the parish priest, followed by the Feast Mass.

There are other side attractions like a football match and a coconut breaking competition. For that added zing, the coconut breaker is blindfolded.

Crimson Tide and Forefront took turns to enthrall the crowd while the floats floated slowly by and then the sun disappeared and the rain came down. How sad, we commiserated with the organisers. Rain is part of Bonderam, they said, let it rain. The crowd eddied slightly, a few people moved towards the awnings of the stalls, but rejoined the crowd a few seconds later, laughing and cheering wildly as the dancers did their thing. Definitely no dampened spirits here.

Khaki clad cops patrolled the area. The man who had stabbed the three-year-old girl at Angels Resort last year was standing in the crowd as if butter wouldn't melt in his mouth. We pointed him out to one of the organisers who pointed him out the cops who did a sleight-of-hand and removed him from the scene.

They had said that there would be no fotass this year because last year girls were largely targetted and one serious eye injury had been reported. There were no untoward incidents and no one looked like they were missing the fotass.

Young or old, Divarkars or mainlanders, everyone had come to have fun. There may have been statements like `our Bonderam is bigger and better and theirs is insubstantial' but the bottom like for every Divarkar is this: tradition is important and the show must go on.

Courtesy Gomantak Times

BONDERAM - Harvest Festival 2000


The procession of Bonderam fest which is also termed as KONSACHEM FEST
(feast of paddy sheaves) seen vending through the island of Malar-Divar.
(Photo By Click Romeo)

(Click On The Thumbnail Images For Larger Ones)

A relatively less known fact is that every year there are actually two 'Bonderam' in Divar. The 'Malara' Bonderam are always held a week before the more popular 'Divar' Bondram. Malara is a village on Divar island whose inhabitants claim that they are 'Malakars' and not 'Divarkars'! They celebrate 'Bonderam' in the more traditional way with absolutely no floats, etc.

Just the locals doing what was done before even the Portuguese came to Goa (or so they claim). How a brass band and a Catholic religious ceremony fits into this historic explanation cannot be understood!)

This year the Malara Bonderam is on the 20th of August. Mario Fernandes (based in UK) intends using this date as co-celebration of sorts of "Goa Day" too. The Goa Day song specially composed by Mr. Basilio Magno (based in Spain) will be played by a brass band.

THE MAIN BONDERAM FESTIVAL - This 'mini carnival' is celebrated every year on the fourth Saturday of August on the emarald island  of Divar  on  the Mandovi river is celebrated by the locals this year it is on the 26th of August.

Bonderam means the festival of flags; which include colourful processions/floats and mock battles are staged in a recollection of the property wars that raged on this island till a century ago.  

Thousands converge on the island year after year with  brass bands in attendance!

Gaspar Almeida & Ulysses Menezes
- Goa-World Team 


The idea of combining the San Mathias' Bonderam went down a treat and specially the release of the theme song 'Proud to be a Goan' of Basilio Magno at the Festival of Harvest. The villagers sang the theme song with great gesture and enthusiasm.  It was Mario Fernandes (Goan International representative) who was instrumental in publicizing the Goa Day celebrations and combining the two festivities as one!

It is hoped that the San Mathias Bonderam will always be associated in future years with World "Goa Day". Villagers should resist any attempts by politicians and vested interested contractors from attempting to build a bridge for Divar island. At this point the crowd burst into applauds and that had some of the biggest cheers of the night.

Goa's greatest footballer also known as Goa's Pele, Andrew D'Souza attended the function and gave Victor Athaide a special World Goa Day presentation - a Silver Plaque for historical dedication and playing career that lasted 52 years.

Goa's top bands of the yesteryears Bass (Brass) Bands and today's modern pop bands - "Alcatraz" and San Mathias villagers own beat music "The Outsiders", entertained the crowd all night long which created a sensational music that resounded throughout Goa.

The fancy dress competition had 55 competitors. All received prizes.

Mario played a melodious toned note to support and gaining tremendous coverage in the media e.g. front page of the widely read and respected Heraldo, and the fantastically created article on Navhind Times by this Click reporter created a sensational effectual
publicity. Gomantak-Marathi also carried the news of Bonderam festival.

- Report & pictures by Divar's well known photographer
Romeo Pereira (popularly known as CLICK ROMEO).
- Our special thanks to Mario Fernandes & Cecil Pinto,
Prop: Pinto & Pinto - Panjim, Goa.

Report & pictures by Divar's well known photographer Romeo Pereira (popularly known as CLICK ROMEO).
Click On The Thumbnail Images for larger Ones (Titles below each image)


A tender one dressed as an Hawaiian girl in a lively mood to drink the
sweet Ruchik water from a Goan tender coconut.

A special category for the performance only - by Augustinho Gonsalves and
Lawrie Gomes, married to a African 'Khapullem' (Negress).

Victor Athaide (left) who received a silver plaque award from the Goa's
Pele of Vasco Sports Club of yesteryears for his immenence dedication to
sports for 52 years seen displaying it with Andrew D'Souza who was also a


Andrew D'Souza displays the new jersey of Vasco Sports Club.

The procession of fancy dress competitors marching, dancing and masquerading with the beats of musical rhythm of Malar's Brass band.

Christopher Menezes won the 1st prize in the Seniors category as a toddy tapper.

The participants of fancy dress in various categories wending through the island of Divar or Dev-vade as it is called today to the rhythic beat of a sensational music of Malar's Brass band.


The jovial mood of Bonderam follows the rhythmic beat of music of Henry's,
Goa's best as one Indian woman proceeds with a Hawaian child.

The harvest created a very jovial mood of wanting the Savoury, Patoi-eos
and Pudes, Sannas and channa ross that these sweets were prepared on the
occasion odf this festival to have a sumptious food, for all.

St. Mathias village celebrates Bonderam
By Herald Correspondent

The St. Mathias village celebrated Bonderam on Sunday, in true  traditional spirit along with Goans celebrating Goa Day which was observed all over the world with gaiety and pomp. St. Mathias Bonderam festival observed all the traditions of this rich cultural heritage, which is over 400 years old. Bonderam festival goes back to the Pre-Portuguese era, where tribes were in control of the land-holdings. These tribal chiefs would constantly get into arguments over their territorial boundaries and after a mutual agreement, the tribes used to parade these boundaries with flags displaying their tribal colours. Bonderam festival is regarded as one of the oldest cultural traditions, which is still kept alive till date with the St. Mathias villagers taking to the celebrations spontaneously. Sine the Goa Day also happened to fall on August 20, Mario Fernandes, representative of Goan Internationals, organization that has put the Goa Day together around the globe, decided to celebrate the event at St Mathias Bonderam, as Bonderam represents one of Goa’s oldest cultural traditions.

Bonderam festival kiked off from Chinachem Bhatt also called China Town, on the eastern boundaries of the St. Mathias village. The float parade, led by flag-bearers representing the colours of the each ward, wended its way through the St. Mathias church, the village roads of St. Mathias dotted by heritage houses and lush green fields, to Sinquerim on the northern boundary of St. Mathias and lastly to Xim, the western boundary that divides Malar and Peidade, before ending up at the venue set up for the celebrations.

The people of St Mathias also used the occasion to foster the cause of sports so as to build a sports culture among the youth. The island invited Noel da Lima Leitao, patron of Vasco Sports Club, which is now in Premier National League and its former player, legendary Andrew D’ Souza, one of Goa’s football all time greats, who formed part of ABCD, the most lethal strike combination ever known with Bernard Pereira, Catao Fernandes and Domnic Soares. A total of 52 participants participated in the fancy dress competitions in the various categories. In the senior individual category, Christopher Menezes dressed up as a Goan toddy tapper bagged the prize, while in the couple category Manuel Oliveira and Felix Rodrigues dressed as a  traditional Hindu couple were given the prize. In the juniors  category Ryan Monteiro dressed as a Sadhu bagged the prized while the prize in the sub-juniors category went to Sandesh who dressed up as an eunuch. Bebeto dressed as a butterfly emerged the  winner in the Tiny Tots category. All participants were awarded consolations prizes. As part of the Goa Day celebrations, in an attempt to boost sports in the State, Victor Athaide  of St. Mathias Village who played competitive sports till the age of 52 was felicitated at the hand of Goa’s football legend Andrew’s D’Souza, after he was paid rich tributes by the football crazy St. Mathias citizens. Said the silver plate. The life time achievement award to Mr. Athaide for his total dedication and inspiration to a generation in the village or Divar. He retired from competitive sport at the age of 52. Thanks for being a role model. From the St. Mathias  community and Goans around the world. Vasco Sports Club colours were than offered to three former footballers of the village, by Andrew D’Souza. Neol Lima Leitao in a passionate speech, congratulated the people of St. Mathias for keeping the centuries old traditions of Bonderam alive and urged the people to be proud of being Goan. He requested the parents to inculcate Goa’s rich traditional values in their children and reminded them that many talented  and famous  musicians and personalities around the world, came from their village. He said the  village always appealed to him for its ecology  and heritage and called upon the people to keep it that way,. “Do not choose to decide in favour of a bridge linking mainland and the island, as this will ruin what you’ill have preserved  for milinnias. It will provide a gateway for outsiders to enter and said  that the efficiency of the ferry service should be  maintained”, he urged amidst applause from the gathering. He said that he will involved in  another  passion of the Goans, which dates back as old as the Bonderam, called football. Making a strong appeal to the St. Mathias people, he  said”, let us fuse the two traditional cultures of Goa, your Bonderam and our football, and invited the people of St. Mathias to Vasco Sports Club matches.

Mrs.Nirmala Sawant, the MLA of St. Mathias Village, urged the  people of St. Mathias to continue this rich culture on traditional lines. She called upon the people of St. Mathias and Divar to unite and collaborate  together in organizing the Bondram and not to compete. She said that the organizers have done well in encouraging children to participate who will ensure the continuity of this rich culture festival in the future, when they grow up.

Mrs. Sawant assured that she would not permit construction of a bridge connecting the mainland to the island, and pointed out that there were four ferry points to the island, which would be  maintained including the efficiency of the service. She said she was happy that St. Mathias  Sports Club was involved in organizing  the festival  and said that  football was in the heart of the Goans. She hoped that one day, like Vasco Sports Club, the St Mathias Club would rise to enter the National Football League.  “This cannot be achieved overnight and it needs unity  and financial  help, not just from all those of the island but from those who are also living abroad”, she said. Also present was the guest of honour Sarpanch of St. Mathias Asha Malgi and Joe Vaz patron of St. Mathias Sports Club.

Concluding the function the special song for the world wide Goa Day celebrations Proud to be Goan composed by the famed Goan song writer Basilio Magno, residing in Spain, was sung by Mr and Mrs. Tony Menezes and their troupe. The event was  organized by the St. Mathias Sports Club and Lions Club of Piedade and sponsored by Belo. 
Note :
Additional Information about Bonderam is display on below mentioned webside with photograph.

Fwd - Rene Barreto
GOA DAY 2000

Bonderam celebrated at St Mathias Village

PANAJI: St Mathias village celebrated Bonderam on Sunday last (August 27, 2000)in the true traditional spirit, alongwith St Mathias (Malar) festival observed all the traditions of this rich cultural heritage which is over 450 years old.

Bonderam festival goes back to the pre-Portuguese era, where Gauvda tribes were in control of the land holdings. These tribal chiefs would constantly get into argumental fights over their territorial boundaries and then after a mutual trust worthy agreements, the tribes used to parade these boundaries with fancy display of flags with their tribal colour, with their own made musical instruments.

Bonderam festival began from the Chinachinim Bhatt (nick-named as China-town) on the eastern side of Malar village, the float parade led by flags bearers representing the colours of each ward (Vaddo) wended through the St Mathias Church.

The village roads of St Mathias demarked by heritage houses and lush green and bountiful fields to Sinquerim on the northern boundary of St Mathias and lastly till western boundary - border of St Mathias village - Divar, that divides Malar and Piedade, before culminating at the venue set up for the beautiful celebrations.

A total of 55 people participated in the fancy dress competition.

In the senior individual category Christopher Menezes dressed up as a toddy-tapper bagged the first prize, while in the couples category Felix Rodrigues and Manuel Oliveira dressed as a Hindu couple was also given the first prize.

In the juniors category Ryan Monteiro dressed as a Sadhu-Mama bagged the prize while in the sub-junior category the prize went to Sandesh dressed up as eunuch. Bebeto Crasto dressed as a butterfly got the prize in the tiny-tots category and were considered specially the best of the categories.

Nirmala Sawant, MLA of Cumbarjua constituency who is now attached to Malar in St Mathias village, urged the people to continue this rich culture on traditional lives and its origniality.
(courtesy: G.T.)

Sogllea sonvsarak ximpoddlelea Goemkar Bhavam-Bhoinank

GOA DAY porbim.
Goeam bhair ravpi Goemkar, Espanhantlea Pomburpekar Basilio Magno-chem  "Proud to be a Goan" Inglej git gavun, Inglanddantlea Vaskukar Rene Barretto-n suchoil'lo "GOA DAY" vhodda aiz anondan monoitele. Fuddlea vorsa, ho dis monoitana hemch git amche maimbhaxent utravn, soglleam Goemkaranchea vonttancher khell'ea puro mhunnun axetanv. Tednanch Goemkarank khoremch kheritponn, ekvott and sonskrutai aslear, tachi puri khatri melltelli, ani tinui Goemkar gunnamcho ek porozollit songom' zatolo. Tednam,Goemkar khorench veggle ani sonvskrutaiechea mogan pettlele lokh mhunnun sogllea sonvsarak thavem zatelem. Aiz sanje, heach gitacho poddsad (echo) Malar-Sant Mathias zunvear poramporik "Bonderam" ani "fottaxinchea festak" aikunk ietolo.
"Proud to be a Goan," a theme Basilio Magno always wanted to propagate to the younger generation, who very often are shy to say, `I am a Goan'.

It is a privilege that the musically-rich Sao Mathias community will be able to perform the composition of Basilio Magno, during the St Mathias' Bonderam festival on August 20. Since the Bonderam festival is a centuries old traditional culture of the Goans which was celebrated on August 20, it was decided to to celebrate Goa Day on this day. Goan musicians in London, Nairobi and elsewhere are preparing themselves to play the theme song. Mario Fernandes representing Goans International here in Goa on Goa Day, has received the lyrics of the theme song `Proud to be a Goan' and it will be performed at the Bonderam festival on August 20, by the musical rich Sao Mathias (Malar) community.
(courtesy: Herald

The spectacle of Bonderam ! GOMANTAK TIMES Online
Saturday, 28 August 1999  By Eurico Menezes

Bonderam is being celebrated today at Divar. It is indeed a mini carnival, but with a difference. No commercialisation, traffic hazards, etc.

Preparations for the float parade begin early July with enthusiasts trying their best to bring out the most artistic float. The themes vary from harvesting to vegetation, fishing to sporting. It is all imagination of the artists. This year I wouldn't be surprised if you see the victory of Kargil depicted on a float. Behind these floats, of course, are the host of young damsels in colourful costumes dancing along with their spirited young lads. Different rhythms, different steps. It is indeed, as if you are witnessing the Mardi Gras or Brazilian Carnival la Bonderam style. The floats competition begins at 4 pm and the judges have a hard time selecting the best floats, because most of them are really good.

There is music all the way from the local Brass Band to the renowned beat groups. It is an evening so enchanting that you heart skips a beat and you are caught in an ecstasy of fun and frolic. The rain beating over you, sometimes I wonder how could we celebrate Bonderam, without the fotass (an improvised pea shooters of bamboo) loaded with `ansaes' or `theofuam', the second seed which when hit give a lasting stinging effect.

The fair ladies are the target of the boys. I heard Sandra tell her friend Michelle, "Grand Pa's over coat has saved the day for me. Plop comes a theifuam from the pea shooter. It hits her on the ear "ouch she screams" cursing and swearing. Today you will find the fairer sex moving about with a fotass and a bunch of theofoam in the pockets of their over overcoats and jean pants. But it's all in the spirit of Bonderam.

The street dance that follows is a free for all and whether you suffer from Rheumatism or Arthiritis, it makes no different. You forget your ailments and start dancing. Partner, or no partner, so What? You are dancing. You are in a world of your own.

My wife makes a very good host. But on Bonderam day, she takes extra pains to see, that all the guests, are treated to a sumptuous dinner. The menu, could be anything from `Sannas' and `Sorportel' to `Xit ani Sambarachi Coddi'. The other delicacies like Arroz Refugado, Xacuti de Galinha, Peixe Mauynesse, and of course Geleias and Puddims, are the other items of food, that adorn the table.

Earlier in the morning, following the festival which usually falls on a Sunday, you can hear piglings, being sacrificed for the lunch. On this day, the ritual, of cutting the first sheave of paddy, is ceremoniously done by the parish priest, followed by the Feast Mass. In the evening of course, an exhibition football match and breaking of coconuts blind folded is well attended.

Bonderam or the Flag Festival now celebrated and organised on a grand scale by the Piedade Youth Association and the people of Divar, has come to stay, and will continue to dominate other festivals for years to come.

From the Navhind Times:

Bonderam festival to be celebrated on August 26 Bonderam, a Goan festival dating back to the tribal life of Divar, will be held this year, on Saturday, August 26, 2000 from 4 p.m onwards. The flag procession followed by the float parade will be held, during the island festival. It is believed that this festival started centuries ago, when the tribal habitats of the island used to have community farming. And since in those days the farms were not properly demarcated, there would be quarrels and fights over the area of the farms. It is also believed that each community had their colour banners to demarcate the boundaries and on the eve of the harvesting day, the tribal leader of each community used to go around his farms with his coloured banner, followed by the people of the community. There used to be fights if, any encroachment was noticed in each other’s property. After the Portuguese invaded Goa, the Communidades were formed. Initially, there were three Communidades in Divar, viz Piedade, Sao Mathias and   Narva. The Piedade Communidade was later sub-divided into two, Goltim and Navelim, and to maintain the tradition of the tribal folk, the communidades introduced a new festival called Bonderam (the flag-festival). In this festival, instead of the flags of the community, the national flags of different countries were introduced, so also the fights of fotasis (guns made out of bamboos). The hitherto custom is still going along, although the farm limits were changed by the Portuguese, for the procession to wend around the Communidade boundaries.

After the liberation of Goa in 1961, the Communidades became powerless and poor and due to lack of funds. They had to abandon the festival in 1984, from where the Piedade Youth Association (PYA) took it up and kept the tradition alive. Presently, PYA has given a new dimension to this festival, with the  active participation of all the villagers and the ancient touch being brought back.

(Courtesy: Navhind Times -

'DIVAR BONDERAM PICS by William Rodrigues'


1st Prize -Maddant Stars- Fish, Curry, Rice
A section of the crowd
Arms maketh the man

Arms, Ammunition and Armour
Brass band
Double Barrel Fotas


Everyone is doing it
Firing squad
Fotas repair Workshop

Fotass and Teflam
Jingle Bells-2nd prize-Sontarbatt ward
Safely watching from a distance


Half Angel-Half Devil
Individual contestant
John (Tapoi) elderly contestant

1st Prize-Individual-Agapito Coutinho dressed as Vasco Da Gama
Balcao View
Deadlier than the male


Three Gun Salute

Good Work Appreciated

When the roots of a tree are uptooted the whole tree is uprooted. What is evil needs to be eradicated that way. It is a tough job, specially for those who are in the administration. One mamlatdar once told me, “If I am to do what my conscience tells me, I shall have to leave this office and my children shall have no bread to eat. In the administration one is handicapped even to serve the people.” The Boderam festival procession in Divar was a religious procession in the past. It was a feast of Novidade (meaning new era) to commemorate many events and one event, besides the new crop, was the mass conversion of Brahmins of the island to Roman Catholicism. Initially it was a feast of only one flag, namely the Portuguese flag. In course of time negligence resulted in the religious procession becoming vulgar. Selfish interests sowed the seeds of divide among the people of the island and instead of one procession, two processions were taken out in the two parishes on the same day. Later, due to fights on the border of the two parishes to restrict crossing of the border, the dates were changed and that is how we now have two Bonderam Festivals in the island on two dates.This year a change has been adopted by the people of the island of their own free will. The Bonderam festival has been celebrated as a cultural activity under the Panchayat Raj Act 1994 and has been celebrated with the Hindus participating in it for the first time. In my opinion the people of the island deserve to be complimented for this great change specially when they have done so of their own free will in order to shed the communal colour. Now I am waiting to see the day when, like in the past,
there will be only one Bonderam festival on the island instead of two on two different dates. That day will be a day to rejoice with the Hindus and Christians joining as one people and as children of the same God.The credit of this great change in the Bonderam festival on the island goes to our young and dynamic North Goa collector and district magistrate, Mr Sanjeev Khirwar. It was a tough and testing job with so many ministers pressurising to maintain the gap of divide between the Hindus and Christians on the island for maintaining their vote banks. And yet Mr Khirwar could successfully do it like removing a thorn with a pincer and without causing any pain. The people of Divar must be grateful to this young man and collectively thank him for whatever he has done by being behind the scene. We criticise the administration when it commits mistakes but we fail to appreciate somebody doing good work, may be even as his duty. If we do likewise in future, it will encourage him to do good work continuously and that  way good work can spread without fear. I hope there will be more and more Sanjeev Khirwars in Goa to turn Goa into a real golden Goa.
(courtesy: Navhind Times)

Comments :

San Mathias BONDERAM fest & Goa Day celebrations at Divar Surf web site  for BONDERAM feast, you'll be glad you did. Site has displayed crystal clear pictures of celebrations of Bonderam 2000 and Goa Day feast. All pictures were great however my favorite picture was a young Goan Girl dressed in Hawaiian drinking "Ruchik" (tasty) water of tender coconut, that was really cool and cute.

Divar is a beautiful island, I remember as a little boy my mother took me to these islands. The way to get there is by using "poinoll" (country row boat) from old Goa.

In another picture I saw our great Goan footballer Andrew De Souza, he played Vasco Sports Club with white jersey and black strip like a garland. This uniform was there since Portuguese era. Andrew played Vasco Club after 1961. I remember when I was in College in Bombay, I met Andrew at Cooperage playground Churchgate, around 1968. He was skinny, not tall, had a tremendous ball control, he would roll the ball on ground with right foot, raise it to 1 foot using lace side of the shoe, then tap the ball using inside side of the shoe to hit the left of the chest, and trick the defense, thereby volleying the ball home in the top right or left corner behind the net. The commentators used to call him very dangerous striker. The first Goan Club ever to win Rovers Cup was Vasco Sporting Club, with Andrew as its center forward. He replaced the fame of earlier dangerous center orward "Arantel" and "Saturnino" as mid fielder of Portuguese era of Vasco Sports Club.

I remember also that year around 1968 Sesa Goa had Albino and Mauricio with powerful shots that could rock the cross bar. They were also great players, but Andrew a short man was Goa's favorite and darling. I congratulate Gasparbab and Ulybab for giving us beautiful pictures right in our living room.

I thank Mario Fernandes for his great role in organizing the event and Click Romeo for his good skills in taking crystal clear pictures.  
Agnelo Gomes -    

T.R. de Souza" <>
............with Goans celebrating Goa Day

What happended to the traditional "fotaxi"? That was the biggest excitement for us when we joined the celebration as kids! I rarely missed visiting my grandmother and her family during this season!
Teotonio R. de Souza

Goa-World thanks:

Yours truly Cecil Pinto & William Rodrigues

Report & pictures 
Romeo Pereira (CLICK ROMEO) - Divar's famed photographer.
- Our special thanks to Mario Fernandes & Cecil Pinto,
Photography Exclusively For Goa-World by William Rodrigues
Mr Cecil Pinto - Prop: Pinto & Pinto - Panjim, Goa.
Oheraldo - Goa's favourite daily.
Gomantak Times
Navhind Times

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