Keeping one of the fastest disappearing traditions of Goa alive, Shops here begin to close down as soon as the clock hand indicates its 1 pm and remain closed till 4-5 pm. Casualty to the changing pace of life in Goa, afternoon ‘siestas’ nowadays are becoming a thing of the past. Why would Goans take a nap post lunch? Is there a scientific reason behind it?
Portuguese left Goa in 1961 but made an indelible mark on the lives of the Goans. One of the habits that survived even after their departure was the tradition of napping in the afternoon post lunch. Normally after 1 Pm till about 4- 5 Pm, hour or two before dusk.
From a farm labour to a shop-keeper, people of Goa like their siesta a lot. But, it isn’t because of laziness that the nap in the afternoon is conducted. One of the reasons is that people who get up early in the morning to do chores need a short nap to revitalize.
Traditional occupations like farming, trading, fishing etc require early morning preparations. Another reason is the tropical climate due to which afternoons are unbearable. To avoid this uncomfortable situation, Goans preferred to sleep and get back to work later.
Advantages of an afternoon siesta
Good work life balance- due to a short nap in the afternoon the person is well rested. Helping one to be more productive till the end of the day and being able to participate in the revelries during the night.
Good for the heart- India has one of the most stressed populations in the world but in Goa though situation is much different. Afternoon naps (Power naps) decrease the stress helping bring down the chances of cardiovascular diseases. Imagine a life without the ailment of high blood pressure or hypertension.
Contemporary situation is such that like many traditions of Goa, siestas are going extinct as well. Pace of life is becoming fast and also many Goans choose to work through the afternoon. But, they make up a small minority as the majority still continues to keep the tradition alive.
So, to all the Patraos (a friendly connotation in Goa equal to ‘Saheb’ in Hindi) around the state and the country, forget your worries and relax! Take an afternoon siesta and get back to work even stronger.