Government to ax the Annual Mando festival this December?


Goa is a land of many traditions. Music, dance, and food form a large part of our culture. Mando or Manddo (Konkani mānḍô) is a musical form that evolved during the 19th and 20th century among Goan Catholics. It’s a centuries-old art form and a much-loved tradition in our state. However, it looks like these traditions could soon be lost forever.

Mando No More???

Every year, Goa celebrates the iconic Mando festival. However, in a shocking turn of events, the Kala Academy officials have informed the organizers of the 50-year-old festival to give up its dates (13th, 14th December). This is because the organizers of the Serendipity Arts Festival have demanded access to the auditorium from 13th December. This is three days before the festival actually begins.

Sources at the Goa Cultural and Social Centre told TOI that they booked the hall in March this year to hold the festival on 13th and 14th December.

“The Serendipity Arts Festival has been given the hall from December 15 to 22,” said a member of the centre. “We even received the confirmation in the first week of April, but on September 20, we received a letter from Kala Academy saying that they need the hall on those dates to prepare for the Serendipity Arts Festival.” He added that the centre would have a word with (KA chairman and art and culture minister) Govind Gaude in this regard.

The Goan Mando.
Pic credit – www.

 An aggrievance to the followers of tradition

This annual festival, which has been running for the last 50 years is well known in cultural circles. Approximately 40 Mando groups from various parts of Goa participate in the event.

All these participant groups have already started practices and rehearsals for the festival. If the same is perhaps postponed for after Christmas, it will create problems for the participants in terms of their Christmas celebrations.

This move definitely isn’t sitting well with Mando aficionados. “The Mando festival is our traditional festival preserving our cultural heritage,” said Tomazinho Cardozo, founder of the legendary Mando troupe Kandollechim Kirnam. “The KA is duty-bound to honor the commitment given to the centre for organizing the festival on December 13 and 14. The government has been financially supporting this festival, and thus Kala Academy has no right to cancel the festival. This will certainly hurt the sentiments of Goans.”

Govind Gaude, art and culture minister who took over as chairman of Kala Academy last week, said: “I am yet to check the details of the dates given to Goa Cultural and Social Centre and the ones given to Serendipity Arts Festival. I will only be able to comment after I discuss this with Kala Academy.”

(Source – TOI)

Here are a few pictures and videos from one of the previous years’ Mando Festivals taken from
Mando singers in their Mando finest.

Now it remains to be seen what the priority is. Are they definitely putting an age-old Goan tradition on the back burner in favor of a new entrant into the art festival world? Only time will tell.