Image Credit: Bernard Dsouza, Gulf News Reader

Dubai: If you were passing by a section of Al Mamzar Park in Dubai last Friday (October 26) you would probably wonder “What’s was going on?”.

If you were curious enough to find out, you would have reached a spot under the greens, from where the sound of music was coming. You would then find yourself in the company of Goan families, who came together from all over UAE under the banner of ‘GOA-UAE celebrating togetherness’ at their first social gathering.

We organised a potluck and celebrated the true spirit of Goan culture and tradition, singing away traditional Goan folk songs while also enjoying some mouth watering Goan cuisine, which was prepared by each family and shared. We had asked the people to prepare just three kinds of dishes - plain pulao, chicken shakuti (a traditional spicy gravy dish) and salad. We sang traditional Mando Songs, which often touch upon aspects of everyday life in Goa, and songs by Lorna Cordeiro, known as the nightingale of Goa, who is an all-time favourite.

This was an effort to just bring Goans together as we don’t have anyone speaking our local language - Konkani. We usually speak in English and wanted to promote Konkani, especially among the children.

The event witnessed games with prizes for the children and adults, too. The event was attended by Goans from all over the UAE spearheaded by a few residents in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah.

It was indeed a delight to see the community get together in one united Goan spirit and looking at the response we got, we plan to make it an annual event.