Tourists celebrate on beaches, Goans in villages

| 01 January 2000 22:59 IST

Though not overcrowded as expected, Goa – one of the topmost destination for the millennium celebrations – witnessed real fun and frolic from the point of view of the tourists as well as Goans in the towns and villages, while welcoming year 2000 from the land of sun, sand and dance.

Unlike usual annual scenes, the millennium mood was seen spread all over the coastal state. Major cities and towns were full with tourists. While the ones who could afford entered the dancing halls, others were seen dancing outside the street pandals at the music played till the dawn.

It all began at around 9 pm throughout the state, but the real fun was found in the coastal belt as each and every hotel had organised dances with different bands playing every two hours. The village dances however remained limited for the local crowd, except the coastal villages like Colva, Calangute, Baga, Anjuna etc.

The major attraction however was fireworks which lit the sky all over Goa at midnight, after which over-enthusiastic crowds were seen wishing and dancing even on the roads in cities like Panaji and Margao. Even tourists were seen honking horns of the vehicles while ships in Mormugao harbour blew their horns at the stroke of midnight.

Doordarshan tried to capture the spirit in Goa for the national viewers by showing some glimpses of the most prestigious formal street dance of Club Nacional in Panaji as it was also attended by chief minister Francisco Sardinha.

But much more fun was witnessed in several other places while many five star hotels organised biggest ever bashes as celebrities from the industry, film, modelling, fashion and even political field were their special guests this year.

Salman Khan, Anil Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai, David Dhawan, Dipti Bhatnagar, Arbaaz Khan and Malaika, Madhu Sapre and Milind Soman and several other actors and models from film and fashion industry chose South Goa's five star beach resorts to celebrate their millennium with their family members.

Many top industrialists are also in Goa, but most of them remained away from public glare and celebrated the new year along with their family members. The state is also full with a few VIPs like high court judges, several MPs and ministers from several states like Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan etc.

In spite of all the main roads full with vehicles from all over India, no untoward incident was witnessed anywhere as the local police, along with one company of para-military forces and 14 mobile vans, were on their toes throughout the night.

"It was the most peaceful and enjoyable night. Our efforts paid rich dividends", said R S Sahay, the DGP of Goa Police. In spite of rounding up quite a few drug peddlers, drug parties were also very much part of the millennium bashes held all over the tiny tourist state.

Unlike the fun-loving mood of the tourists, the locals belonging to Christian religion preferred to attend midnight mass in their respective churches and then attend the formal dances in their villages.

Several city-based Goans, irrespective of religious affinity however preferred to go away from the city crowd in the interior forest areas, to welcome the new year amidst fun and frolic blended with local folk music and real Goan Konkani music and dances.

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