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Daman Day 2013 – Press Release


DAMAN, January 30th 2013: 2nd of February, the historical date (02.02.1559) when Damão first came to be, has been celebrated worldwide by Damanenses as ‘Dia de Damão’ (Daman Day) for centuries.

The festival is a celebration of the unique culture of the people of Daman and includes musical festivals, food festivals, traditional/folk dance performances, art & craft displays and various competitions that encourage artistic expressions of their culture.

The essence is celebration of all that is inherently old-world, ‘Damão’ – the sights, the sounds, the senses and the ‘saudades.’ The mandate – “Feel, think, breathe, live, eat and drink, to Damão!”

The celebrations begin in August, along with World Goa Day celebrations, in countries like the UK, US, UAE, Canada, and Holland among others, and culminate on Daman Day on the 2nd of February which is celebrated in Daman, Macau and Portugal.

The theme for Daman Day 2013 is “Viva Damao! Raise a toast to traditional Damanense cuisine!” The theme comprises a title and a subtitle. While the title, “Viva Damão” is permanent, the subtitle changes every year. The themes in the last few years have been:

2012: “Viva Damão! 100% Música Portuguesa!”

2011: “Viva Damão! Proud to be Damanense!”

2010: “Viva Damão! Eu falo Português!”

2009: “Viva Damão! Come, Discover Daman!”

2008: “Viva Damão! Keep the culture alive!”

Daman Day is a self-financed initiative of the Damanenses under the aegis of World Goa Day and its founder, UK-based Rene Barreto. Each participating country has a ‘Country Coordinator’ who is in constant touch with the Daman-based ‘Overall Coordinator’ and founder, Noel Gama.

Beginning last year, the organisers in Daman, teamed up with the Daman Municipal Council (DMC) to celebrate the event jointly as the council has already been sponsoring the traditional annual mass commemorating the feast of Our Lady of Purification and N S das Candeias every February 2nd at the DMC Square.

The event launches with high mass in honour of the patroness of the city, Our Lady of Purification at 6pm, followed by a cultural program showcasing Damanense folklore which will include a play in Portuguese, Damanense folklore and traditional Portuguese and Damanense dance performances by local artists and musicians.

More information can be found at www.Discover-Daman.com

Noel Gama
Overall Coordinator – Daman Day (Dia de Damao)


Daman Fort loses battle, wins war!

It should have been a sad day for me and fellow Damanenses. The fort of Big Daman, one of the 27 nominations for the 7 Wonders of the Portuguese World, did not make it, while Goa and Diu did.

The winners:

* Basilica de Bom Jesus (Goa/India/Asia)

*Fortaleza de Diu (Diu/India/Asia)

* Igreja de Sao Paulo (Macau/China/Asia)

* Fortaleza de Mazagao (El Jadida/Marrocos/Africa)

* Cidade Velha de Santiago (Ilha de Santiago/Cabo Verde/Africa)

* Convento de Sao Francisco de Assis da Penitencia (Curo Preto/Brazil/South America)

* Convento de Sao Francisco e Ordem Terceira (Sao Salvador da Baia/Brazil/South America)

A team of journalists of RTP – Portugal, visited Daman and the fort in particular, over a month ago but apparently, weren’t impressed. Who would? The clutter of ugly government quarters, rusting government vehicles along the roads, a proliferation of garages for government vehicles, the trash in the moat, the PWD tar dump near the convent, labourers staying in Bocage’s house, etc., in the fort drown the efforts of the Archeological department to maintain structures of historical value. It was also reported that the RTP team were not granted permission to photograph the Se Cathedral in the fort.

Of all the ex-Portuguese colonies, Daman perhaps has the least to show today, almost 50 years after Liberation. Goa has its natural beauty and is a great tourist destination, is ‘big,’ is a state, has thousands of Goans not only in Goa, but all over India and in most countries of the world; Macau is beautiful, has the world’s biggest casino, glittering hotels, an international airport, one of the biggest race courses in Asia… the list goes on. Diu is on the tourist map and has clean beaches with white sand.

But of the little rule-flouting Daman has, all it can flaunt is its Portuguese heritage – culture, monuments and language, even 50 years after Liberation. The only things to show visiting ministers and dignitaries are the Portuguese forts, the Portuguese churches and the Portuguese folk dances!

Our fort may not have made it into the elite seven but what’s a monument without culture? It’s culture that breathes life into monuments. And the Indo Portuguese culture of Daman is not endangered, far from it… it thrives without sponsored efforts of any institution. Not only that, the culture has spilled over to foreign shores and thrives there too. The resounding success of World Daman Day 2008 bears testimony to that.

No ‘Wonder award’ for us and no wonder Fundacao Oriente in Goa does nothing for Daman – there IS nothing to do!

Viva Damao!