Poderanchem Fest: Honouring Goa's unsung heroes

LESTER FERNANDES, SOCORRO | 07 October 2015 13:26 IST

Podderanchem Fest is not a tradition, but Socorro village started a new tradition, by holding this Fest for the first time, by dedicating it to Goa’s traditional unsung hero - the Poder.

Rain came and still there were lots to gain. Postponed due to the receding monsoons on Gandhi Jayanti, the Poderanchem Fest, celebrating Goa’s traditional bread makers - Goenchho Poder - finally took off on 6 October  at the spacious  Succorro Church grounds in North Goa.

The four-hour fest showcased a wide range of Goan traditional breads from Pao, Unddo, Kakonn, Poiee (pollee) and other varieties, served with Chicken, Sorpotel, Choris, Fish,  Beef, Xacuti, Ollsanneachi bhaji and other traditional   dishes that go well with Goencho Pao.

Each item was priced at just Rs. 20/- only.

Goan bakers sculpted baked Goan motifs ranging from crocodiles, tortoises, pigs, seashells, crabs, fruits, flowers to hats, musical instruments and other popular items.

“This is an outcome of the five-day workshop we had for the young villagers, who learnt how to make Pao and shaped it innovatively”, said Maurius Fernandes, the inspiration behind the unique Fest.   

The local brass ensemble and youth band provided traditional and modern music.

Villagers, young and old, representing various wards, performed dances and songs revolving around the theme of bread and traditional occupations.

It all began with a Purcao (procession), led by a red robed mascot, representing Saint Honore, the patron saint of bakers. 

The infectious gaiety was evident as visitors donned traditional baker outfits and aprons and some even came with the popular bakers’ horn, emitting the poink poink sound, heard early morning and late evening in any Goan village, and even the cities.

One of the highlights was the launch of the website www.poder.in,  popularizing the Poderanchem Fest, along with related traditions, recipes and photos.

The organisers also did not fail to pay its respect to the Great Poder. Senior and veteran bakers were felicitated.

Also the problems faced by the traditional bakers association were addressed by the Bakers’ Association.

The fest, the first of its kind in Goa, was organized by the Succorro Socio Art and Cultural Association of Porvorim along with the All Goa Bakers’ Association.

The festival was not just about cuisine.  There was art at cartoonist Alexyz stall, where postcards, T-shirts, printed ceramics and paintings were on a display and sale.

“Popularising the Goan way of life through these fests goes a long way in nurturing our traditions, despite the influx of technology and modernity,” espoused Cartoonist Alexyz.

People from various parts of Goa flocked to witness this historic Fest.

“Even we’ll have it in our village next year,” one of them was heard telling his colleague.  

Well, it means the message was passed through, setting a new tradition in Goa, to honour the unsung celebrities of Goa, like our Poder….

(The writer is  a former journalist and presently a trainer. He can also be contacted at  [email protected] or  +919890950964)

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