As part of the 'Collaborative International Training and Education program', VM Salgaocar Institute of International Hospitality Education (VMSIIHE), Raia, hosted a four-week intensive programme in association with Turismo de Portugal, a government body responsible for selecting the visiting students from various hospitality institutes in Portugal.
During the programme, a total of 12 students and academics from 12 Portuguese cities were selected to learn about Goan hospitality, cuisine, culture and cultural exchange between India and Portugal.
RICH IN CULTURE
Sharing their Goa experience with GT, a student from Coimbra, João Gustavo Almeida Pires said, "Goa is culturally rich. There are a lot of interesting cultural aspects that makes it different from the rest."
At the same time, he spoke about Goa's peaceful environment and said that if you go into Goa's villages and interior areas, you can find peace and calmness.
FLAVOURS AND SPICES
The student spoke about markets in Goa and said that the markets here, in Goa, are a completely different from those in Portugal.
Culinary professor from Oeste, Luís Manuel dos Santos Tarenta who also took part in the programme said, "Goa's markets are unique since you find a number of spices and flavours here."
"The hygiene levels are different in both places. And, it is amazing to see how these are adding to the culinary endeavours and how you can find a wide range of spices here," he added.
The students spoke about the differences between Portugal and Goa and said that the number of people visiting markets is limited as they usually get their daily requirements from supermarkets and online stores, while in India, people visit markets on a very regular basis.
This was the first cultural exchange program, organised by the Institute, post the pandemic. The student delegates got first-hand experience of the Goan hospitality that was curated by Raia-based VMSIIHE.
The schedule of the programme included a visit to the Margao market, lectures from experts on tourism trends in Goa and India, instructional demonstrations by faculty and guest chefs etc.
The delegates got an introduction to the wonders of feni, Goa’s indigenous liquor, on their visits to various farms and distilleries in the state.
In addition to that, the students were familiarised with culturally diverse experiences, which included visits to historical temples, UNESCO World Heritage sites in Old Goa, and tribal villages, among other locations of significant interest.
GIVING A TASTE OF INDIA'S RICH GASTRONOMIC LEGACY
Explaining the objective behind the exchange program, director and principal of VM Salgaocar Institute of International Hospitality Education, Irfan Mirza, explained, “In 2017, we collaborated with Turismo de Portugal to bring forward this exchange program. Tourism is a thriving industry in Portugal. We can work together to improve the level of instruction we provide to our students."
He added, "We are carefully collaborating with the Portuguese student group to give them a taste of India’s rich gastronomic and cultural legacy. This is the first time we hosted the students after the pandemic, and we are ecstatic to have such a versatile and enthusiastic group of budding hoteliers at our campus. We hope this visit truly helps an exchange of ideas and knowledge between the two countries.”