Keeping the festival of flags alive
St Mathias Sports Club, Malar will be organising the annual flag festival, Bonderam, in Divar this Saturday. With a new committee on board, new ideas are coming to the fore and revellers can expect a much more colourful and informative festival this year. Café shares the details
The festival of Bonderam is not just about upholding the festival of flags that has been celebrated since time immemorial. It is about families on the island village coming together and bonding, while taking pride in their traditional occupation. The songs, music and dances pay tribute to the rich heritage of the village and are performed by the villagers themselves.
With the monsoons, the island of Divar breathes new life, welcoming Goans to the celebrations. Bonderam festival will be celebrated this Saturday, August 18, 2018 from 3pm onwards, organised by the St Mathias Sports Club. This year, the committee is headed by Ivo Azavedo, President, Lynn Silveira, General Secretary and Santana Da Costa, Treasurer among other members. The festivities will start by 3pm as the flag bearers take the lead, moving to the beat of the brass band. A new attraction for this year’s Bonderam celebrations is the St Mathias Bonderam Trail 2018, which will take trekkers and heritage lovers on a journey by Marius Fernandes, a Diwadkar himself, to discover the hidden treasures of St Mathias village’s heritage, culture and natural beauty. The walk along the main street of the village will showcase the historic landmarks, heritage homes, chapels and temples. “The procession will begin at Sao Mathias Church at 3pm with the flag bearers, brass band and live running commentary by RJ Joed Almeida. I will be taking the participants across the village to eight heritage homes that will be opened up especially by the families for the trail. The houses will be decorated with eco friendly decorations and the families have been kind enough to serve Goans homemade sweets including patolleos with tea and boiled grams. Besides the homes, we will also go to landmarks of the village and conclude the walk at the Bonderam Square, which is the St Mathias Sports Club, at 5.30pm,” explains Marius Fernandes. The homes of Bridget Menezes, Crystal Menezes, Rita Diwadkar, Rosy Noronha, Ross Picardo, Santan D’Costa, Francis Vas and James Fernandes will be open for viewing. The festivity will continue with villagers of the four wards – Belsur, Amboi, Church Ward and Goddar – presenting dances and floats. This will be followed by three colleges – Carmel College for Women, Nuvem, Don Bosco College, Panjim and Dhempe College of Arts & Science, Panjim Besides the colourful parade, the Bonderam celebrations include breaking of coconuts called kathodio and an all-Goa fancy dress competition with junior and senior categories. This year, the festivities will conclude with live performances by the band Brothers in Arms, led by another Divar resident, Caitan Menezes, and Johnny B Gud with Valerie. The anchors for the festivity will be William Anes, Arantxa Azavedo and Macxi Picardo. The Chief Guest of the program will be Tony Gonsalves from Divar. From a festive beginning to a serene end, the festivity will conclude with the feast of Novidade, blessing of the new harvest. The following day of Bonderam, a procession of villagers carrying the statue of St Mathias holding a silver sickle in his hand, will march to the paddy fields, where the parish priest will bless the new harvest and cut a few sheaves which will later be distributed among the parishioners.
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