Friday, 4 December 2015

An Unforgettable Goan Wedding

We’ve just spent four days in South Goa for our friend Bosco’s wedding to Sophia.


Our apartment, while we were there, was situated in a very pleasant gated community with nice outlooks from the balconies.  


From the beginning of our stay Bosco insisted that we should be part of his family so we spent quite a lot of time at his family home and very soon had a ready made family of our own!


After several days of traditional build-up events the day of the wedding arrived and, as Bosco insisted, we were included with the family. That meant going through the normal “panic” of getting dressed and ready. Using Bosco’s room we, and the two Best Men got all tarted up and the children were dressed in the same fabulous blue and silver outfits as the men!


The two best men, Desmond and Allwyn, looked a million dollars ……….


……… while we just nudged the thousand dollar mark with our new suits made in Panjim the week before.


Bosco’s transport to the church was, again, decorated in blue and silver.


Outside the church Bosco and Sophia met each other for the first time in about a week ………..


……… and walked up the aisle together.


The very large church was packed with family, friends and just about everyone in the community it seemed. The music and the singing was tremendous and very similar to the joyful Maori or South Pacific sound.


After the service, which was the good part of 2 hours, Bosco and Sophia emerged as husband and wife into the intense heat of the afternoon. The relative coolness of the church had been a mercy to us as we were certainly not used to wearing suits in such heat.


Tradition is everything and the next part of the occasion was for Bosco and Sophia to stand outside the church, in full sunshine (!) and greet each and every one of the congregation.


After the events of the afternoon we had time to get back to the apartment for a shower and freshen up (and a change of shirts!) before we were taken to the reception venue. The people that attended the wedding service do not generally attend the reception, so Bosco and Sophia had another two or three hundred guests to greet later in the evening. As the couple arrived everyone formed a huge circle around the dance floor and threw rice, confetti and small white polystyrene balls over the newlyweds.


After the confetti was the cake cutting ceremony which took place amid fireworks and lots of pyrotechnics.


The wedding cake stand was, like everything, quite spectacular. The table swung from a giant heart.


There was no shortage of people to fill the dance floor and we were surprised that all the younger generation were fully skilled in ballroom and sequence dances.


After the formal dancing came the Bollywood and disco ………


…….. all supported by one of India’s top groups, we were told – and yes, they were VERY good!


This lavish event was certainly not let down by the sumptuous buffet and the constant supply of drinks brought round by the waiters. This is us with the charming and very attentive Julroy, who was our constant friend and guide for the entire four days.


This is Julroy with the equally charming and attentive Nikson with Desmond (best man)in the middle. Nikson very kindly drove us to and from the reception which was held ………….


…………. in the most amazing, and huge, venue. This is just one corner of it! and there were fountains and water features, gardens and trees. It was just like a desert oasis.


Oh, this is Julroy again! (and Doug with his jacket off – a special dispensation given to the soft Englishmen!)


Poor Bosco and Sophia, exhausted as they must have been by now, had to meet and greet (towards the end of the evening, funnily enough) the hundreds of guests ……….


…….. and, as always, Bosco never stops smiling!


They insisted that they had photos taken with us.


There was more dancing as the evening wore on ………..


……… and much hilarity and partying. These people certainly know how to party!!


(Julroy and Doug were in a lot of photos!)


Bosco and Sophia were the perfect hosts right to the very end of the evening, insisting on another photo with us before we left. We were truly amazed at the stamina of people during this week long extravaganza and how on earth the men managed to dance and party all evening with their jackets on we’ll never understand! The temperature was still in the upper 20’s late into the evening and we were truly exhausted.


On Monday morning our taxi driver, Naran, took us back to Candolim in North Goa. This is the old, busy bridge spanning the river between the regions of Tiswadi and Bardez.

We spent a sensational four days in the company of the most wonderful, welcoming and attentive people. Four days which we’ll not forget and friends which we shall most definitely stay in contact with and will look forward to seeing again soon.

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