Following the resounding worldwide success of World Daman Day 2008 & 2009, the organizers decided to open the celebrations of the 3rd World Daman Day (2010) on the 2nd of February 2010 – the day Damão came to be in 1559 – leading to the big day itself under the aegis of World Goa Day courtesy, London-based founder, Rene Barreto.
The theme of World Daman Day 2010 was, “Viva Damão! Eu falo Português!” because of all the cultural facets – art, religion, tradition, custom, language, music, cuisine, architecture and attire – language is the binding glue that holds it all together and it also is the conduit through which culture is propagated.
Damanenses around the globe in countries like the UK, US, UAE, Canada, Portugal, Macau and Holland among others, celebrated 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 & craft displays and football tournaments. This idea proposed by Rene in 2008 has now grown into a great tree spreading its branches around the globe while rooted deeply in our culture. Though the official website at www.WorldDamanDay.com has been serving its purpose excellently, this year we used Facebook as the main means of communicating and propagating the concept thus making it possible for anyone with a Facebook account to participate. This made the need for ‘meetings’ obsolete as we did not have the usual consensus of a handful of naysayers but the mandate of 1300+ Facebook fans of Daman!
While World Daman Day has mainly been celebrated by Damanenses outside Daman, in Daman itself the movement picked up so much momentum this year that it surpassed the celebrations of all other places by far! There was a football tournament on the eve of WDD-2010, which saw six teams vie for the WDD-2010 cup over 18 matches. The next evening, WDD-Daman turned out to be the best ever, anywhere, World Daman Day – an unexpected crowd; presence of Professor Ajay Prasad, of Centre for European & Latin American Studies, JMI University, Delhi; beautifully presented Portuguese traditional dances and folklore; 100% Portuguese music; Damanense cuisine; dinner and dance; speeches in Portuguese – you name it! And best of all – no self-titled, ‘VIPs’ – because on WDD, every Damanense is a VVIP!
We have been flagging off World Daman Day on the 2nd of February – “Dia de Damão” – and culminating the celebrations in August-September. However, since this time of year sees the most inclement weather due to the southwest monsoon, not to mention school exams and the popular demand for shifting the main event to February, Daman will henceforth have the main event on the opening day i.e., 2nd February, beginning 2011 while other countries will continue to celebrate it on or about the 20th of August.