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Culture

Goans have always had to assert and adapt their identity in relation to foreign influence. Resistance to Portuguese colonialism has changed into pride at having Portuguese roots, while attempts to maintain the distinction between Goa and India reinforce a ‘Goan’ identity that spurs on environmental, economic and social activism in a bid to keep Goa one of the most prosperous states in the country.

 

The differences are evident but similarities pervade below the surface to unify different versions of Goa. Whether Hindu Goan, Catholic Goan, or new Goan, all have an opinion about the changing face of Goa and nostalgic memories of ‘the way it used to be’, and all are eager to see that Goa doesn’t lose its distinctiveness.

Goan Identity

Goans have always had to assert and adapt their identity in relation to foreign influence. Resistance to Portuguese colonialism has changed into pride at having Portuguese roots, while attempts to maintain the distinction between Goa and India reinforce a ‘Goan’ identity that spurs on environmental, economic and social activism in a bid to keep Goa one of the most prosperous states in the country.

The differences are evident but similarities pervade below the surface to unify different versions of Goa. Whether Hindu Goan, Catholic Goan, or new Goan, all have an opinion about the changing face of Goa and nostalgic memories of ‘the way it used to be’, and all are eager to see that Goa doesn’t lose its distinctiveness.

Susegado

A term that crops up frequently in connection with Goans, susegado (literally meaning ‘quiet’ in Portuguese) is a term that Goans use for their relaxed and laid-back attitude towards life. It’s a philosophy of taking your time in whatever you do, of taking time to sit and chat, of not getting overwrought if work takes longer than planned.

It is susegado that makes a visit to Goa special; people are always ready to smile and say hello, to let you onto a crowded bus or to sit and chat about whatever comes to mind.

Demographics

A native of Goa is called a Goan in English, Goenkar in Konkani, Goês (male) or Goesa (female) in Portuguese, and a Govekar in Marathi.

Goa has a population of 1.344 million with a population growth rate of 14.9% per decade. There are 363 people for each square kilometre of the land. Goa is the state with highest proportion of urban population with 49.76% of the population living in urban areas.

The literacy rate of Goa is over 82%. The sex ratio is 960 females to 1000 males. The birth rate is 15.70 per 1,000 people.

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