Becoming Goan: A journey of identity, culture & environmental consciousness

In a captivating memoir, Michelle Mendonça Bambawale explores her complex relationship with Goan Catholic background
BECOMING GOAN: Author  Michelle Mendonça Bambawale explores her complex relationship with her Goan Catholic background.
BECOMING GOAN: Author Michelle Mendonça Bambawale explores her complex relationship with her Goan Catholic background. Photo: Gomantak Times

Becoming Goan: A Contemporary Coming-Home Story is a moving and intriguing story about Michelle Mendonça Bambawale’s complex relationship with her Goan Catholic background.

Michelle weaves a tale that tackles identity, culture, migration and Goa’s changing terrain from the 1970s and 1980s to her recent return to her family town in the midst of the Covid-19 outbreak.

BECOMING GOAN: Author  Michelle Mendonça Bambawale explores her complex relationship with her Goan Catholic background.
Take an 'Adventure Break' in Goa and make a splash

Michelle’s story opens with her move to the 160-year-old house she inherited in Siolim, followed by her human and canine family. Her early recollections of Goa are juxtaposed with present realities, creating a complex mosaic of experiences. Michelle expertly takes us through the tricky terrain of her dual identity, debating whether her Goan ancestry qualifies her as an insider or an outsider for eternity.

Michelle expertly takes us through the tricky terrain of her dual identity, debating whether her Goan ancestry qualifies her as an insider or an outsider for eternity

Michelle’s writing style is both captivating and genuine, drawing readers into her world with a kind and conversational tone. She transports us to Goa’s history and the present via vivid narrative, juxtaposing the simplicity of the 1970s and 1980s with the current concerns of environmental degradation, tourism and rapid constructions taking place in the state in the name of development.

BECOMING GOAN: Author  Michelle Mendonça Bambawale explores her complex relationship with her Goan Catholic background.
Goa's hills that make your heart skip a beat

Michelle’s book is more than just a personal reflection; it also serves as a painful cry to environmental consciousness, as she conveys her concern about the influence of tourism, the concrete jungle that is being created and mining on Goa’s biodiversity. Her commitment to Mother Earth grows stronger as she investigates her roots, exposing the syncretic customs ingrained in her background.

Her commitment to Mother Earth grows stronger as she investigates her roots, exposing the syncretic customs ingrained in her background.

The investigation of Siolim’s strange stories, such as those of St Anthony and the Snake, Sao Joao, and the Beethoven monument, adds an intriguing aspect to the story. Michelle’s ability to combine historical and geographical observations with personal tales results in a narrative that is both educational and emotionally engaging.

BECOMING GOAN: Author  Michelle Mendonça Bambawale explores her complex relationship with her Goan Catholic background.
Experience a journey to the soul in South Goa's Rachol village

'Becoming Goan' should be lauded for giving us more than simply a tourist’s perspective. Michelle’s true love for Goa and devotion to preserving its distinct legacy come through, making this book a must-read for anybody interested in the region’s diverse beauty. Her skillful use of facts and tales to investigate Goa’s history, politics, customs and problems makes the subject engaging and relatable. The readers, I am sure, will be attracted to the vivid medley of Goan life, admiring Michelle’s attempt to transcend stereotypes and clichés.

Michelle’s true love for Goa and devotion to preserving its distinct legacy come through, making this book a must-read for anybody interested in the region’s diverse beauty.

Michelle also explores mando music and the importance of prominent Konkani songs. The cover art illustrates diverse aspects of Goan life, providing an engaging introduction to the rich Goan culture. Humorous anecdotes are sure to keep the readers absorbed with her light-hearted observations and smart comments.

BECOMING GOAN: Author  Michelle Mendonça Bambawale explores her complex relationship with her Goan Catholic background.
Journeying through Goa using emoticons

The book will tantalise readers’ taste buds with references to Goan drinks such as Niro, feni, and urak, leaving them wanting to sample the region’s delights themselves. Michelle’s use of colloquial terms such as Aiz maka, falea tuka lends authenticity to the story, generating laughter and making it a memorable read. The employment of Portuguese and Konkani idioms, together with useful footnotes, enhances the reader’s comprehension of the local culture.

The book will tantalise readers’ taste buds with references to Goan drinks such as Niro, feni, and urak, leaving them wanting to sample the region’s delights themselves.

The personal musings and cultural discoveries in "Becoming Goan" are fascinating and enlightening. Her tale is a lovely mix of personal and historical accounts, offering a thorough grasp of her relationship to Goa. The author's warm and conversational tone encourages readers to share in her experiences.

This, along with the inclusion of facts, hilarious tales and intelligent advice, results in a well-rounded reading experience that goes beyond the average memoir. Michelle’s earnest study of her dual identity, which straddles traditional Goan roots and contemporary influences, will undoubtedly resonate with people who understand the complications of belonging.

BECOMING GOAN: Author  Michelle Mendonça Bambawale explores her complex relationship with her Goan Catholic background.
Valpoi is nature's gift to Goa, a must-visit destination

Michelle’s upbringing and work experience give context for her distinct viewpoint on Goa. Her broad experiences in education, marketing communication and environmental activism add to the depth of her narrative. Her profound Goan ancestry, along with her worldwide experiences, gives her a complex perspective on and portrayal of Goa.

Michelle's long-term goals include making a positive difference in Siolim. Her desire for effective public transportation, improved infrastructure and laws to ensure appropriate parking spots illustrates her dedication to improving the quality of life in her ancestral hamlet.

Michelle writes with boldness and passion, tackling often-overlooked problems in thought-provoking terms. The book is notable for its capacity to elicit thinking on responsible tourism in Goa, prompting readers to ponder the consequences of their travels. It also offers a nuanced examination of Goa's colonial past under Portuguese rule, connecting similarities to the larger Indian colonial experience under the British.

BECOMING GOAN: Author  Michelle Mendonça Bambawale explores her complex relationship with her Goan Catholic background.
Goa's ordinary people and their extraordinary lives

Finally, 'Becoming Goan' is a engaging memoir by Michelle Mendonça Bambawale, showcasing her Goan heritage, identity, culture and environmental awareness, offering a multidimensional view of Goa. The book serves as a window into the author's life and a reflection of the intricacies and beauty of the Goan experience.

Your Gateway to Goa, India

The Gomantak Times app is the best way to stay informed on anything happening in Goa. From breaking news to the top 10 restaurants to visit, GT helps you navigate your time in Goa.

Download the Gomantak Times app on your Android or IOS device.

Related Stories

No stories found.
Gomantak Times
www.gomantaktimes.com