'Ostoreachem Fest': Celebrating the women of Goa

The first edition of the 'Ostoreachem Fest' (Women's Fest) was held at Madkai, Goa
Women cooking at the 'Ostoreachem fest', held at Madkai
Women cooking at the 'Ostoreachem fest', held at MadkaiGomantak Times

While 'Goencho Festakar', Marius Fernandes, is known to curate various fests in Goa that celebrate the culture and heritage of the land, this is the first time that he has curated 'Ostoreachem' (women) fest, a festival that celebrated women and the girl child.

The festival also aimed at addressing women and girl child concerns, zero waste, inclusivity and accessibility. It was held at the 'Peaceful Society', in Madkai.

Participants of the 'Ostoreachem Fest' alongwith Marius Fernandes
Participants of the 'Ostoreachem Fest' alongwith Marius Fernandes

The festival started with ‘Balcaoancho Gozalli’ where Kumar Kalanand Mani and Bharati Bandodkar spoke to senior journalist Prakash Kamat about the history of the Peaceful Society.

A chef from Porvorim, Irene Dias, then conducted a workshop on how to Goan sweets like 'donne' and 'pudde' are prepared.

The women at the fest also spoke about their daily lifestyle and coping with issues surrounding women and the girl child.

Irene Dias conducted a workshop on preparing 'donne' and 'pudde'
Irene Dias conducted a workshop on preparing 'donne' and 'pudde'

An age-old traditional skill of making ‘mollam’ from coconut palms was demonstrated by Anjali Naik from Madkai. A Human Library was another highlight of the fest.

Food like ‘khotkhotem’, ‘mango sasao’, ‘alsande roçe’, ‘Goan salad’, ‘pickles’ and ‘desserts’ were served to the people. The community kitchen included women volunteers.

A 'mollam' weaving session in progress
A 'mollam' weaving session in progress

The 'Ostorchem fest' concluded with a Konkani cultural programme and playing of traditional musical instruments.

Women relish food prepared by the women volunteers
Women relish food prepared by the women volunteers
Women cooking at the 'Ostoreachem fest', held at Madkai
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