She puts Goan culture on Portuguese TVApril 22nd, 2010 - 4:39 pm ICT by IANS
By Mayabhushan Nagvenkar
Panaji, April 22 (IANS) She is a Portuguese citizen of Goan origin who believes there is much more to Goa than just just beaches and night life. As a young documentary filmmaker, Nalini Elvino de Sousa makes it a point to put the state’s culture and heritage on Portuguese television.
Now settled in Goa, she is the producer of “Contacto - Goa”, a popular docu-series on Goa for Portugal’s leading public broadcasting channel RÃ¡dio e TelevisÃ£o de Portugal (RTP). The programme completed 50 episodes last week.
“After starting in 2006, throughout our 50 episodes we tried to present an image of Goa which the audience back in Portugal is not aware of. Back there they think Goa is only a fun place to be in with the beaches and night life,” Nalini told IANS.
Nalini was born in Portugal, but both her parents are of Goan descent.
“Goa is not just about beaches and sun. We talked about the chain of forts here, the cuisine of Goa, which is marked by such an interesting mix of cultures, Goan architecture, its great sons like Abade Faria (a Catholic monk and pioneer in the science of hypnotism) among other things,” Nalini says, adding that the palette of culture which Goa had to offer was distinct from the rest of the country.
RTP’s Contacto series runs concurrently in 14 avatars, each focusing on the lives of Portuguese immigrants in its erstwhile colonies like Macau and in Africa. Goa, however, presents a piquant situation.
“There are hardly any Portuguese citizens in this state. So we have to veer a bit from the brief. In ‘Contacto - Goa’, we focus more on the interesting mix of culture which Goa presents,” says Nalini, who has settled down in Goa after marrying a local Goan doctor.
“As part of the series, we made two episodes on Goa’s liberation. I had tried to put both the Portuguese and Goan sides of the story in perspective,” says Nalini. “Just because I was born in Portugal does not mean I give that side of the story alone.”
Nalini, who runs a language centre in Panaji called ‘Communicare’, which takes classes in Portuguese, Spanish, Russian, Italian and other regional languages, says the state government isn’t doing much to holistically promote Goa as a tourism destination.
“Just the beaches and Old Goa, (referring to a historical city, which was the capital of Goa centuries ago and houses the mortal relics of Catholic saint St Francis Xavier), is not Goa. There is so much more.
“Its quaint villages in the interior, rivers, old heritage homes. There’s so much more to be highlighted,” says Nalini, whose documentary on rivers in Goa was chosen for the Vasudha awards at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI).
(Mayabhushan Nagvenkar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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Tags: abade, beaches, catholic monk, colonies, de sousa, documentary filmmaker, forts, fun place, goa, liberation, macau, nalini, night life, palette, portuguese citizens, portuguese immigrants, portuguese television, portuguese tv, public broadcasting, science of hypnotism