re: Family Feuds by Ema Souza Colaço - By Ben Antao & Aloysius D'Souza

Hi everyone: 

Ema Souza-Colaco, in her thoughtful article on Family feuds in Goa, wrote: 

[It appears that Goans have made it an art form to disrupt weddings and devise, albeit unconsciously, novel methods to start arguments at or just after the reception. And this is supposed to be one of the most important days of the newly married couple. What a nightmare it turns out to be ! ] 

How true indeed! Not only at weddings, I might add, but also at social gatherings. Compromise is an idea that is totally alien to the Goan consciousness in general. Thank God, there are exceptions to this. 

Ms. Souza-Colaco has adroitly highlighted the problem--egotism. While a healthy development of the ego is necessary for human progress, the idea of the greatest good of the greatest number also needs to be kept in mind, in my view, to achieve the equality of all peoples of the world. 

In this respect, inherited caste differences among Goans get in the way. Even Christians who are supposed to treat everyone as equal forget this philosophy when it comes to living the Christian message, as if religion were a matter of ritual only and not a guide for living standards. 

I understand that in Goa today the new generation is in the process of dismantling the caste structure by way of inter-caste marriages. I salute this development. In the U.S. and Canada, the new generation of Goans are also marrying non-Goans in increasing numbers. This is a good sign as well.

 Of course, feuds involving greed, envy, misunderstandings, and egotism occur in every family all over the world. But we Goans are beset with a historical disease of casteism and we have to strive consciously to rid the malaise from our system. 

In other words, we have to communicate truthfully to give a chance for bonding to occur. If there are more than 50 members on this list, everyone should contribute at least once a month something that he/she feels strongly about so that we may deepen our understanding of one another and the issues that confront us. 

All the best. 

Ben Antao Toronto Sept. 6, 1999


I think we Goans should sing that song "You always hurt the one you love"

Maybe we Goans being a large family like to squabble among ourselves like brothers and sisters -- but unfortunately while normal brothers and sisters make up after a short time -- we tend to carry the feud on and on .....

There are more houses split down the middle in Goa and then consequently fall to ruin because of family squabbles -- instead of making up with brothers and / or sisters we then go off and build new houses --buy flats -- or invest in time share resorts -- so much so that now I wonder where our food will be grown since more and more buildings are coming up on good agricultural or horticultural land

As I have said earlier possibly this is all because of limited opportunities -- so better to equip our kids with better skills and open their eyes to the huge development potential available in Goa (to be made by us) or around the world

Just yesterday, a friend whose family started up one of India's large pharmaceutical manufacturing units (in the face of competition from Glaxo, Pfizer, Sandoz, et al) was complaining that in India -- Goans, Keralites, Maharashtrians, etc -- are very happy to down tools, go on strike, etc but the same characters when they go to the Gulf slog like dogs from dawn to dusk because if they do not they will just be thrown out of that country.

In India our works are so protected that they can literally get away with murder and hence no incentive to work -- worse still in Goa where no one thinks there is any need to work since money comes from the likes of Jose's story "Peter's Plight" -- money available for the asking

Our work environment in Goa and India in general is very poor -- we carry this into our personal and family life -- I suppose only when we follow the "hire & fire" policy will we as workers really wake up to reality.

Goans in Goa continue to be "BIG FROGS IN A SMALL WELL" -- only when we get out of that well then we realize how insignificant we are and then get down to really making an effort to achieve something

I hope that with this d-list setting the pace by making people talk about our disgraceful behaviour we will do something about improving ourselves -- "take the beam out of our own eye before we try to take the mote out of our brother's eye"


Aloysius D'Souza Bombay  Sep 6 1999


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