From Gujarat to Manipur, Lokotsav draws them all to Goa

Lokotsav brings not just handicrafts from across the country for sale, but people, stories and a cultural experience
Lokotsav, in Panjim, draws hundreds of artisans from all over India annually.
Lokotsav, in Panjim, draws hundreds of artisans from all over India annually.Photo: Gomantak Times

The melting pot of diversity, the Lokotsav 2024 festival, has brought much joy to town. In the simplest of ways, it is an excuse to get out of the house, a chance to take a walk whilst admiring the beauty of cultures combined and an opportunity to feast on delicious food from all over the country.

And, Goa is always happy to host festivals that bring people together, even if it is just to upgrade their collection of dainty jewellery and ceramic plates.

Lokotsav, in Panjim, draws hundreds of artisans from all over India annually.
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Bringing stories from across the country, today, we met Poonam Ritesh, running a stall at Lokotsav 2024. Like many, Poonam has made her way to Goa all the way from Surat in Gujarat.

Having set up her jewellery stall, her work showcases great workmanship and speaks for itself. But, that does not stop Poonam from interacting with her customers and making sure that they are quickly shown all the pieces of jewellery they glance upon.

Poonam Ritesh, from Gujarat, has been putting up a stall at Lokotsav in Goa for the past 10 years.
Poonam Ritesh, from Gujarat, has been putting up a stall at Lokotsav in Goa for the past 10 years.Photo: Katia Goes

“I have been putting up a stall at Lokotsav for the past ten years. I love Goa and its friendly people, they are so helpful and always patronise my business,” smiles the lady in the bright saree.

Like Poonam, Nasim Malik also hails from Surat, but has travelled to Goa for the first time.

Lokotsav, in Panjim, draws hundreds of artisans from all over India annually.
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“I like the seaside,” she giggles, further explaining how she began her morning by visiting the Miramar beach at 7am.

Although she stumbles on the pronunciation of the names of the beaches, the spark in her eyes, as she explains checking off visiting the Miramar beach, Dona Paula and Calangute beach on her list, made up for it all.

Nasim Malik, from Surat, has a stall selling handmade beadwork and seashell jewellery, among other imitation jewellery.
Nasim Malik, from Surat, has a stall selling handmade beadwork and seashell jewellery, among other imitation jewellery.Photo: Katia Goes

“The response has been so good! I have been trying to get a stall for the past seven years, and finally managed to get one this year. I hope that I will get a stall next year as well, and I will be back for sure," she said, as she posed for the camera.

Her stall at the Lokotsav features jewellery of all shapes and colours, right from beadwork jewellery, that she makes herself, to seashell jewellery and other fashion jewellery.

Presley Ngasainao, from Manipur, and her beautiful collection of traditional hand-woven, hand-embroidered bags, made of water reed, can be seen at Lokotsav 2024 in Goa.
Presley Ngasainao, from Manipur, and her beautiful collection of traditional hand-woven, hand-embroidered bags, made of water reed, can be seen at Lokotsav 2024 in Goa.Photo: Katia Goes

From another corner of the country, Manipur sent a piece of itself to Goa through the hands of Presley Ngasainao and her beautiful collection of hand-woven and hand-embroidered bags that are made using water reed grass.

“This is a traditional handicraft from Manipur and can even can be washed,” she says. With so many pretty bags to choose from, one might just end up broke as the choice is just mind-boggling and too enticing!

Lokotsav, in Panjim, draws hundreds of artisans from all over India annually.
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"This is a very long process, and there are so many girls involved in making it happen. We have to first grow the grass that will be harvested six months later,” she says.

She also sells black stone pottery, the traditional cookware from Manipur.

Catch Poonam, Nasim and Presley at the Lokotsav 2024 festival, which is happening till February 4, 2024 at Kala Academy, Campal, Panjim.

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