1. PADDY CULTIVATION
Goans love their fish-curry-rice. Rice is the staple food of Goa and cultivated in, both, the Kharif (Sod) and Rabi (Vaigon) seasons in North as well as South Goa. The crop is cultivated in three topographical areas ie rain-fed uplands (morod), rain-fed lowlands (kher) and coastal saline lands (khazans).
The cultivation of rice involves several activities such as land preparation, sowing, planting, weeding, harvesting, threshing, drying, storage, mechanization etc, which can be observed at different times of the year.
While pottery and ceramic workshops are increasingly common today, pottery was traditionally made by the local Khumbar community and was generally unglazed. It is one of the oldest crafts and existed even during the time of the Portuguese rule in Goa.
Activities involved in pottery-making include sourcing the clay, kneading, crushing, mixing, spinning the potters’ wheel, moulding, firing in a kiln. A variety of traditional earthenware objects such as cooking vessels, water coolers, small pots, idols, tulsi vrundavan, diyas etc were made using this technique.
3. BREWING FENI
Feni is a local alcoholic beverage, prepared from cashew apples, and is exclusive to Goa. The preparation of feni involves selecting cashew apples, de-seeding them and then stomping/pressing them in a special basin. That is followed by fermenting, distilling and cooling. The process also yields the production of a popular juice, called neero. This activity can primarily be seen from March to May.
4. TODDY TAPPING
A risky task, it was the chief occupation of the Bhandaris, Komarpaik and toddy tapper (Rendeir) communities back in the day. Toddy-tappers (padekar) begin the process of collecting coconut sap early in the morning. Before climbing a coconut tree, they tie their waists with a kind of rope harness, and carve steps into the bark of the tree. The task involves climbing, collection of the juice from the bud or spadix of the flowers.
Coconut sap (sur) is used as in ingredient in a local dish called sanna, in palm jaggery, vinegar and an alcoholic drink called palm feni.
5. GOAN BREAD
Who doesn't love to savour some piping hot pão on a cold, wintry day? The art of making bread was brought to Goa by the Portuguese. The Goan poder makes a variety of artisanal local breads such as pão, poee, undo, katre, kakon etc, which have a distinct flavour since it is baked in traditional wood-fired ovens. In the past, this bread was more flavourful since toddy was an ingredient, although this has now been replaced with the more commerically-viable yeast.
Most villages have their own ‘bakery’ where the bread-making process starts well before daybreak. The oven-fresh bread is delivered in the mornings and evenings by poders, who make the rounds of the village on their cycles, beckoning residents with the sounds of their traditional horns.