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Report and pics from Rajtilak Naik in Panaji

Panaji, Aug 20: Goa is a land of picturesque beaches, beautiful architecture, colourful festivals and friendly people.

The Bonderam festival is a mixture of all these assets. Bonderam, The flag festival is celebrated in the village of Divar which is around 10 kms from the capital city Panaji. People from all walks of life participate in the festival, be they Christians, Hindus or Muslims for that matter everybody plays a role as per their ability.

About Bonderam:

Bonderam festival holds its root way back during the times of Portuguese rule in the state. People in the Divar village used to keep on fighting over the question of  land. They used to boast that this is their land, some used to say that this is not their land instead this part belongs to them and so on.

Even the ruling Portuguese authorities started feeling the heat and were not being able to come out with any solution. Finally the Portuguese came out with a solution and divided the villagers in two parts as per the geography of the
land and gave them flags of different countries which were supposed to be erected outside the houses. The fights did'nt stop there, the villagers continued fighting with each other..but this time they started targeting the flags. And the tradition continued and the rivalry gradually turned into a festival where in the flag parade happens to be the core event of the festival.

Till date the Bonderam festival is celebrated twice in the village in a weeks gap. Both the events are organised by the same two geographically divided groups namely Piedade Youth Association and Malar, St Mathias.

The Festival holds a wide variety of cultural events right from the traditional flag parade to the jazz dance, from fancy dress to float parade, from traditional brass band music to 10,000 watts acid music...

That's the traditional Bonderam festival for you.

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