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Goan People

The people of Goa love to be called themselves Goans and not Goanese. They are very much proud of this unique identity which they guard fiercely. But they do possess a unique lifestyle which reflects the perfect blending of the cultural influences that they had over the centuries.

People of Goa

Goans in general are warm, friendly, easy going and large hearted. They do experience the life in style and at a leisurely pace. In addition, they are passionate about dance, music and art which flow through their blood, and they enjoy their food and feni.

Goans approach to life is best described by the word Susegad which means taking life at a relaxed pace and enjoying it to the full. This philosophy of life is evolved from the word Socegado which meant ‘quiet’ in Portuguese language.

Goan population composes of a Hindu majority of around 65% and a Christian minority of around 30%. Muslims and other religions take the rest of the share.

The Hindu community is dominant in the talukas (districts) of Ponda, Bicholim, Pernem, Satari, Sanguem, Quepem and Canacona which all form part of the Novas Conquistas or the New Conquests by the Portuguese in their last phase of the expansion of the Goan empire in the eighteenth century during when their military might was on the wane and the ardour for religious conversions was at its weakest. The population in these newly conquered areas was hence left to practice their religions.
On the other hand, the Old Conquests, consisting of Salcete, Mormugao, Tiswadi and Bardez bore the stamp of the Portuguese religious zealots.

A Goan considers himself a Goan first, ahead of his religious denominations. Goans display a remarkable degree of tolerance towards all religious beliefs, and hence religious fundamentalism is unheard of in the state. The places of worship viz. the Damodar temple at Sanguem, the Church of Our Lady of Miracles in Mapusa and the Shantadurga temple at Fatorpa are testimony to the unique religious harmony prevailing in Goa, where both Hindus and Christians go together. A number of festivals in Goa too are celebrated by members of all communities together with equal fervour. A very high percentage of Goans live abroad compared to other regional communities of India. But wherever they are on Earth, Goans adore their homeland most in some form or the other.
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