Saturday, August 25, 2012

Foot in mouth

Eddie's being daft: try telling it (below) to the girl who wrote to me saying: My father is not a dodderer!
Dear Cyprian,
What is your agenda? Selma Carvalho had a column in Goan Voice UK with an avid readership. She has written an excellent, critically acclaimed book on the Goan diaspora. She has, against the odds, secured funding for an oral history project involving East African Goans. She has provided up with examples of her video interviews, each receiving over 1,000 hits. She has received hundreds if not thousands of congratulatory messages. Have you ever had anything positive to say about her? Why not
OK, she is only human and can make mistakes. Point them out to her by all means. But why, oh why, write to your friends, sorry contacts, and then ask them to “share this with as many people as you can!” Talk of sick minds.
But what is the mistake that Selma made? Not in what she wrote but in underestimating how people like you would pick on it and turn it around to suit your prejudices! I would urge everyone on this list to read again what she wrote and judge for yourselves. I reproduce below the critical section:
6 Aug: Herald. The UK Goan Festival has been rejuvenated largely because of a second migratory wave of Goans into Swindon, Wembley and Ealing … The Portuguese-Goan speaks in unadulterated Konkani, and dresses loudly with jangly gold bracelets and stone-washed jeans…. the East African Goan; ageing, doddery limps from tent to tent, trying to find friends he knew back in East Africa only to find their numbers dwindling with each passing year… In between these two strange animals who seldom socialise with each other, there lies a spectrum of other more nebulous and emerging identities; the offspring of things Goan but largely British… 1009 words + photos at
To me it is clear that she is referring to the two extremes of the UK Goan spectrum. Both are singular. What is your interpretation? That she is referring to all or most or many or significant? Do let us know.
To anyone who has progressed beyond the Enid Blyton stage it should also be obvious that she is using parody to cast her characters. It is refreshing to have her usual creative writing instead of the banal “nice” reports that appear to be the norm.
I must confess that I could not read beyond the first paragraph of your diatribe.
Eddie Fernandes


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