What is life? At least it is simple in Goa. Or, ‘suss god’? Doesn’t it makes you imagine, someone sleeping under a swaying coconut tree, fanned by a maiden breeze. Or someone just chills out in his easy chair with a glass of beer? But hold on a minute! That is not what a Goan really is. They know how to enjoy life. Though they are in a habit of submitting to an afternoon siesta, life usually starts after six in this palm fringed land. With the drooping calls of a cuckoo, and the beats of drums, the whole state embarks on a trance tour. Late night rave parties, dancing till a wee hour is a common attraction, a tourist can experience in this beach destination. More interestingly, they still wake up in the morning to attend Masses in the ancient churches of Old Goa. Where can you see such a nice contrast of religion and merriment sprawled over just a few hours!
Goans are also obsessed with the latest fashion like others. Goans are famous for their Goa latest fashion costumes which are full of colors. Taste for the latest fashion in Goa has resulted traditional costumes and embroidery disappeared from public memory. Goan costumes are tailored as per the trendy fashion in Goan. You can have some of the finest works of textiles, costume, and embroidery in the museums, places of worship, libraries and private collections. So, the fashion in Goa derives its inspiration from a very long tradition and numerous external influences. Let’s have a glimpse over fashion in Goa since the beginning.
Earliest inhabitants of Goa were in their ‘natural self’ and wore nothing at all! They started wearing a string of beads, leafy loincloths (Alkali). The tradition still survives in tribal life and they are unaware about the fashion in Goa. Gauda, Kunbi, Dhangar, Velip and Zalmi tribes do not follow Goa fashion and still wear these traditional costumes with vibrant colors and simple drape. These include Kashti (mail loincloth) and a blanket on the shoulders, Kunbi Palloo with a tied knot and pleated sari.
Buddhism and Jainism influenced the lifestyle of Goa in a great way. You can have an idea of this phase in Goa State Museum where most of the gods are depicted wearing a crown, a sacred thread, armlets, necklaces, earrings, elaborate waistbands and chest bands. The goddesses are found wearing anklets, toe-rings and a sandal strap. Some other goddesses are found wearing a pleated skirt with a long drape, and decorative umbrellas.
Costumes for Women and Men:
During the winter, men and women wear woolen clothes and jacket. The traditional clothing for men and women in Goa is almost similar to other south Indian states.
Nav-Vari, a nine-yard sari, was the main costume of ladies in Goa. Its case or casseto style was very popular in Konkan coast and it was worn without a blouse. Royalty and the dancers of temples wore choli blouses. Saris were also imported from other parts of the country.
Goa Costumes During Festivals:
Goan clothes during festival celebrations are traditional. Men wear colorful clothes and carry torans (banners) during Shigmo (the festival of spring). The performers carry banners and umbrellas and boys wave green twigs during Romat or Romatamel dances. Another dance festival known as Chowrang (four colors) signifies a blend of music, tradition, dance and costume.
Muslim & Portuguese Influence:
Islam brought detailing and ornamental motifs besides a softer paster-coloured palette. Portuguese banned Hindu garments and accessories, nose rings for example. They forced Goans to wear western clothes. During this transition phase, a new garment called Pano Bhaju came into existence. It was the ingenious invention of converted orthodox Hindu women. The Koli fishermen of Goa, who wear colorful shirts and half pants, and a hat made of the bark of the bamboo trees, make for a wonderful sight.
The liberation of Goa in 1961 gave impetus to Indian dresses and salwar kameez, sari, ghagra and Kashmiri Jamevar shawls were again in vogue.
Goan Catholics have a unique culture, which is a mixture of Indian and Portuguese cultures. Portuguese came to Goa in 1510, and people of Goa adopted the culture of Portuguese but also kept following their traditions, customs, and Hindu caste system. The Indo-Latin culture became famous for their outstanding clothing as well.
Goan Catholic women commonly wear dresses/gowns. These are some of the common attires for females. Men put on the bridegroom and suits of western-style. The virgin-white gown is worn by the bride. Modern Goan Catholics usually held a White wedding. Costly outfits are purchased for the wedding day. During festivals like Easter, Good Friday and Christmas, Goan Catholics wear special clothing.
Like most people, Goans also have a passion for fashion. New clothes and accessories are purchased every fortnight – a far cry from days when a new suit was reserved for the annual festival.
Goa receives the influx of millions of tourists throughout the year as it is famous for its panoramic beaches. Travelers’ also bring their culture, clothing and other stuff. Hence locals have also influenced by the western clothing. Goans love to mingle with outsiders and wear their costumes too.
Goa symbolizes life’s zest and frolic. It is simply mesmerizing for every visitor as Goa is a place which can actually be called inimitable. The casual lifestyle of Goa is one of the basic reasons why tours to Goa never lose their charm. It is a place sought after by vacationers round the year.