BY NICOLE SUARES
It was Gandhi who believed in self-sustainable villages. From the traditional occupations of goldsmiths, potters, metal workers to fishing communities, local commerce thrived in Goa’s hamlets in the past.
With the decadence of the old trades, the present crop of village bazaars, like the Pilerne Thursday Heritage Market spurs enterprise amongst the youth by unearthing new skills and providing a platform for selling their products.
Come Thursday, November 17, 2022, the village opens its doors to the first Pilerne Thursday Heritage Market. The enthused and motivated community are abuzz after the sell-out response at their trial run, post the feast of Our Lady of Piety at the St John the Baptist Church on Sunday.
The courtyard, decked in festive colours and spirit, hosted 16 local vendors displaying numerous homemade products, from food, crochet, plants, pottery, and more. Church-goers flocked to the market to pick up homemade eats.
The bazaar creator, festekar Marius Fernandes, and locals aim to create a record of organizing the first-of-its-kind zero-waste bazaar.
“Our deadline to achieve this task is January 1, 2023. What better way to bring in the New Year in Goa? We would reduce the dependence on plastics. Visitors need to carry their own crockery to spark the revolution, and so, 80% of the garbage gets cut at source,” explains Marius.
Seeing it as a way to bring the community together, parish priest Fr Derick Fernandes says, “One of the salient features of the festival is that it serves as a meeting point for people in the village and outside. We see it as a way to entertain senior citizens too. Additionally, it empowers people to stand on their own feet. It is a bigger, platform for people to know what the talents in the village are.”
WHAT’S IN STORE
The Thursday market will feature 20 vendors from the village and a mollam-making workshop by Muriel Mascarenhas. Enjoy live music by musician Pauly Fernandes or learn a new Goan dish with the live demo. The festival is inclusive for all differently-abled communities.
With the post-pandemic period straining businesses, the bazaar spurs the grass root economy. Hairdresser-turned-home baker (due to Covid-19), Luiza Fernandes, a local resident, agreed that her work took a hit in the last two years. “During the pandemic, it was difficult. I’m happy with this Thursday market as we will get to meet as well as bring out our talents. I am proud to be a part of this market. I’m happy with the response at our first trial on Sunday.”
The bazaar is an outcome of the Matienchem Fest, organized in May. Marius, who’s always believed in empowering the community with skills and enterprise, says, “All future fests will have bazaars. These must create employment and opportunities for locals. We organised the festival on the condition that it will empower locals.”
Highlights of the weekly bazaar at Pilerne
All items sourced from Pilerne
Live demo on Goan food
The Pilerne Thursday Heritage Market will be held on November 17, 2022, from 4 pm to 8 pm in Pilerne, Bardez