, ,

HAPPY WORLD DAMAN DAY – 20 August 2009!

Dear Damanenses and lovers of Damao,


Wishing you A Very Happy & Peppy 2nd World Daman Day!

M D G Rocha (Country Coordinator – India)
Oscar Noruega (Country Coordinator – Macau)
Pranay B Kolakkar (Country Coordinator – USA)
Franco Fonseca (Country Coordinator – UK/P’boro)
Luis Fonseca (Country Coordinator – UK/Leicester)
Sandra Gonsalves (Country Coordinator – P’gal)
B Lopes (Country Coordinator – UK/Leicester)
Lysa Lopes (Country Coordinator – UAE)
Silvester Machado (Country Coordinator – UK/London)
Tony Machado (Country Coordinator – Canada)
Sharmila Mascarenhas (Country Coordinator – UAE)
Maria Franco (Country Coordinator – UAE)
Veridiana de Sousa (Country Coordinator – Holland)
Noel Gama (Overall Coordinator – Daman, India)

Viva Damao! Come, Discover Daman!


, ,

Message from Dr. Adelino Costa (Portugal) on World Daman Day 09

Caros Damanenses

Estamos a poucas horas de iniciar as celebrações do World Daman Day 2009.
É uma boa oportunidade para que eu envie uma saudação a todos os Damanenses, residentes ou não residentes em Damão, incentivando-os a preservar as suas tradições e práticas culturais específicas e distintas, que conservam tantos traços da herança cultural portuguesa.

Porém, é de toda a justiça salientar nesta iniciativa o papel mobilizador que tem sido desempenhado pelo Noel Gama que, com grande dedicação e muito entusiasmo, tem estado na primeira linha da preparação do World Daman Day e na dinamização de um renovado sentimento de orgulho dos Damanenses pela sua terra e pela sua cultura.
Ele merece a nossa gratidão e o nosso apoio para continuar essa nobre missão a que se tem entregue.

Viva Damão! Vivam os Damanenses!

Lisboa, 18 de Agosto de 2009
Adelino Rodrigues da Costa
(antigo Delegado da Fundação Oriente na Índia)

, ,

Meet Damanenses worldwide on Facebook

Damanenses have taken networking from the bazaar to the internet!

Meet them on Facebook and interact with them on the group, “Discover Damao in Daman.”

, ,

Press Release: 2nd World Daman Day – 20th August 2009!

DAMAN, 8 August 2009: Following the resounding success of the first-ever, WORLD DAMAN DAY last year, the organizers launched into the second year as early as April 2009 for the worldwide celebration of the 2nd World Daman Day on the 20th of August 2009 under the aegis of World Goa Day courtesy, London-based founder, Rene Barreto.

“Daman has always looked upon Goa as its ‘Big Brother.’ But no two fingers are alike and so it is with siblings. These cultural differences though subtle, lend Daman its uniqueness. This worldwide event is a celebration of the unique culture of the people of Daman who have an identity of their very own – the Damanense,” says Daman-based author, Noël Gama who is the Overall Coordinator of the event.

The theme of World Daman Day 2009 is, “Viva Damao! Come, Discover Daman.” “Damão is not just the former name of Daman,” clarified Mr. Gama. “It’s another name for the Indo-Portuguese subculture of Daman and is a way of life. But most importantly, when broken up into its two syllables, it reveals the secret behind the characteristic hospitality of the typical Damanense – ‘Da mão’ – which literally translates to ‘give me your hand,’ in Portuguese meaning, ‘Welcome!’

Damanenses around the globe in countries like the UK, US, UAE, Canada, Portugal, Macau and Holland among others, celebrate all things Damanense by showcasing their Damanense cultural heritage through artistic and cultural expressions such as musical and food festivals, competitions, traditional and folk dance performances, art and craft displays, etc.

While World Daman Day is mainly celebrated by Damanenses outside Daman, in Daman itself there will be a football match on the 16th of August at 5pm in the sport ground in Moti Daman and on the big day itself, a cultural program in the evening. More information can be found at www.WorldDamanDay.com.


50-year old Portuguese sign board still in use!

You’d think the above picture of a sign board was taken from a local museum!

The photo was taken with a mobile phone in January 2009 when I visited a colleague in the Primary Health Centre (PHC), Fort, Big Daman.

Whoever says that the Portuguese language is on the decline in Daman, is certainly not living in Daman – this sign board is being used by a government establishment!


Culture Wise INDIA debuts in Portugal!

Dr. Adelino Costa probably is the first person in Portugal to buy a copy of my book, “Culture Wise INDIA!”

Here’s what he has to say…

Caro Noel,
Recebi hoje o teu livro que tinha encomendado. Provavelmente é o primeiro que chega a Portugal. Está muito bonito, muito bem ilustrado e é muito informativo.


Adelino Costa


Dr. Costa has been a good friend and mentor for a decade. We first met in 1999 when he visited Daman when he was the Director of Fundação Oriente in Goa and have kept in touch since.


Sao Joao

Sao Joao (St. John’s feast) was celebrated yesterday, 24th June 09, in Damao (Daman) Portuguese style as usual with ‘add-ons.’

I woke up around 7am to firecrackers in the churchyard as well as echoes from the various ‘bairos.’

The day was spent putting up effigies made by stuffing old suits with straw and firecrackers. An earthen toddy pot is used for the head which is also stuffed with straw and firecrackers. The effigies are usually of men.

I had a rather heavy lunch around noon – the traditional ‘vale nascido,’ a dish made of sprouted beans garnished with salted cubes of pork fat.

After lunch, I packed my family into our car and headed for the beach. Damanenses don’t wear conventional swimwear. Men and boys wear Bermuda shorts and women and girls opt for slacks and Tees. Typically, Damanenses seldom protect their eyes with sunglasses. Very few actually swim, preferring to frolic in the waves near the shoreline.

We waded along the shoreline from Ferrieros to Badrapor but got back into the car and drove to Jampore beach around 4pm. Jampore was where the party was in full swing – Damanenses from Small Daman preferred crossing the creek over to Big Daman than partying on rocky, Devka beach. There were people in the water and in little groups on the shore under the needle pine trees, partying – eating, drinking canned beer, strolling, snapping pictures, cruising in cars.

There was more fun in store elsewhere later in the evening – the ‘Judas’ effigies were burnt all over town.

For those that missed all the fun or would like a replay on a smaller scale, there’s always Sao Pedro (St. Peter’s feast) to look forward to on the 29th of June.


The first rain of the season

Daman had its first showers on Sunday afternoon, lasting over two hours.

When it stopped, the sun did come out again, to give Daman that clean-washed look and to release an earthy-scented vapor all evening.

Jampore beach in Big Daman was jam-packed with tourists and so was Devka beach in Small Daman.

San Joao (St. John’s feast) is on Wednesday, the 24th of June – looking forward to photographing the glut of ‘Val nacido’ (sprouted beans) in the bazaar – it looks as if there’s nothing else on display but ‘Val nacido!’ It’s the same scene on Good Friday – but it’s ‘Bred’ (green leafy veg) used for the devil’s recipe, ‘Aag sal de bred’ to tempt those fasting to pig out at lunch.

And ‘Val nacido’ is no newborn’s food either – you need a shard of ‘Papri’ (papad) as the only piece of cutlery, to scoop out a portion of the beans and garnishing of salted cubes of pork fat, and convey it into your mouth – you eat the ‘papri too – each time!’
The next logical step is a swill of liqour. Some spoilsports swig beer. A few rounds of this and then you’re ready for your first clumsy plump into a surf-n-sand roller.

Right – eat/drink, rinse and repeat! As easy as that!

By my calculations, high tide is around 5pm on San Joao and 9pm on San Pedro (29th June).

Oh, despite the 360 degree pollution (dirt, water/air pollution and corruption) in Daman, life is good in a secret place called, 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!