I would just like to make the following observations ( without prejudice!), regarding Ms.Carvalho's comments about the recent London Goan meet, and the ensuing imbroglio. Personally, I found her musings about the recent Goan arrivals (P.P.F.) 'with jangly gold bracelets' and the 'aging' and 'doddery' East African Goan somewhat cynical and tasteless. Cyprian Fernandes, in my view, correctly took issue with her.
Raymond de Mello
Oakville, Ontario, CANADA
It is true that I referred to the East African Goan as aging and doddery (as in trembling with age). I had no idea at the time that referring to a community as aging would cause such a brou ha ha. I certainly didn't mean to hurt anyone. After all, I wasn't writing something particularly contentious, libel, accusatory, inflamatory or derogatory about this community. I had no idea, it was indeed a crime to age.
Anyone who knows my writing for the past seven years knows that I don't do sensationalism.
However, what is particularly hurtful to me, is that instead of remembering a record of four years of service to the East African Goan community of London, which has resulted in countless GoanVoice UK columns praising them, one book drawing their ethnographies, securing funds to record their oral histories, partnering with institutions to archive them, travelling on foot, car, train and bus carrying lumbersom equipment until I was physically sick, to record them, working day and night to transcribe them, producing a documentary and currently working on a publication to preserve these stories, I am pilloried without redemption.
Writing should elicit a rebuttal. That is the main purpose of writing. It shouldn't however elicit a crusade -mostly led by people who have an axe to grind.
That a short and fragile memory is also a Goan thing, is sad.
As my mother always reminds me - today is a sad day, don't worry my darling, something better will happen tomorrow.
DEV BOREM KORUM
This weekend you must have enjoyed your beer even better.
You have truly provided fodder for talks amongst the East African Goans. You were the subject of discussion at many basement lunch/dinner parties over the past few days.
Here is an article that has been written and circulated to several of us by Francis. I am not sure if you know Francis. He used to live in Nakuru but married a girl from Mombasa (Cybel Carvalho). He was a teacher by profession in Kenya as well as in Canada but is now retired. We communicate occasionally on good articles.
thanks so much on your rejoinder on the Goan Dodderer. I have had and still have the good fortune to know many Goans as close friends and even colleagues. Not one was a dodder in any manner.They were and are full of life, joy, and enthusiasm, not only in their working and professional lives, but equally so in the living of the life itself, irrespective of the vicissitude of life and any rough roads ahead.
I have the most wonderful memories of working and have equally memorable happy times with all my Goan friends. My regards to them all, now and ever.
ex-Nairobi, Mombasa, Likoni. Kenya
I have read your interesting article in reply to Selma's reference to the Goan dodderer.
Selma's choice of using the word "dodderer" was not right in describing the aging East African Goan and looks like no editing was done to correct it. I am sure a simple apology from Selma would clear the air.
I meant to write to you before if you were planning to write book. I am sure what you have to write about as an emerging journalist from the start and later your exploits and adventures in journalism will make interesting reading not just to the Goans but the people of Kenya.
I have read books by Goan writers. Bwana Karani by Mervyn Marciel and of course Selma's on the Goan diaspora was fascinating. The Tailor's Daughter by Antao I gave up after the first chapter- frightfully boring!
Should you do a book let me know. – M
I suggest you trim your piece and send it as rejoinder to OHeraldo.
I think Selma became too big for her shoes. When I posted my view on Dale Menezes's review of her book she as well as Eddie sent me thank you notes. Eddie mentioned that what I wrote is the best compliment.
I, however, informed both Selma and Eddie that my piece was not a full review of the book as I need to re-read it again. Thereafter, Selma turned cold. She doen't take criticism in her stride.
You said, "Shame on you, Selma!". If you remember she has said on goanet that she is "shameless" and quoted a Konkani proverb that even if a dog's tail is put inside a tube it will never be straightened.
Your column served as the last nail in her coffin.
To use a Goan topical analogy: It is the same as a mining company that mines every last particle of the resource (the UK EA Goans) and then when there no more potential, to abandon it, and look for fresh resources to tap. –M
I am surprised however that Eddie Fernandes would take such a strong view to condemning the text while admitting to not reading beyond the first paragraph. It is worth a read. If Selma does too, and then carries out a more objective review of the recent videotapes for the UK EA Goans project, and draws pertinent conclusions from the project, she may also come to the same conclusions that Cyprian is writing about.
It is Selma's choice of words and the graphic images that those portrayed that came across as INSENSITIVE and UNNECESSARY. A simple public apology would have put this whole matter to sleep. I happen to know many folks who are still deeply hurt, and feel betrayed by Selma, having believed her intentions and the objectives of the
project; shared with her intimate details of their lives, family photos etc., to then be publically described as she did, is painful.
For Eddie to suggest it is because they did not go beyond Enid Blyton in the reading skills, and therefore cannot understand Selma's sophistication and mastery of the art of writing parody is adding insul to injury.
Dear Selma, just go ahead, make a public apology and move along. It was an unfortunate error of judgement. If you do not it will give the impression you really meant it, even to people who moved beyond Enid
with best wishes for your future endeavors.
Just Matata - Sin, Saints and Settlers available as e-book on KOBO, KINDLE...
I really enjoyed reading your article and know about the East African Goan Tribe, through some of my good friends in Goa and Vienna and my in-laws who returned to Goa too. My husband was born in Dar-es-Salaam,
but returned to India at an early age. He remembers only the 'rough'
Kiswaheli words, which are not many. His Priest Uncle (in Vienna)
compiled the first Kiswaheli-German dictionary with Dr. Walter Schicho
of the Institut fuer Afrikanistik, Univ. of Vienna.
Prosit to all of you East African Goan Tribe!
(Prosit: Cheers in German)
p.s. If you don't know Hartman, he is India's renowned 'Theater
Personality' of East African Goan Origin.