Goa has always been known as the premier tourist destination in India. From it’s rolling hills to the lush green fields and the sandy beaches and the shimmering Arabian sea, everyone wants to come to Goa. The food is mouthwatering and the ambiance is just lovely. And even though it’s the smallest state in the country, there is always something to do. People can head to the beach or indulge in sightseeing and soak in the culture which is centuries old and a perfect mix of Indian and Western influences thanks to the Portuguese. After all, they spent over 400 years ruling over Goa and left traces of their culture in the food as well as history and heritage. Not to forget the field of art and music as well. And for the last 20 years, Goa has had the privilege of hosting the famous Vem Cantar competition.
20 years since the inception of Vem Cantar, the Portuguese singing competition
1998 was the first year that Vem Cantar was held. This singing competition was started as a way to promote the Portuguese language and culture in Goa. Thanks to Fundação Oriente and the Heritage Cell of the Rosary College of Commerce and Arts, Navelim, Vem Cantar has gained much popularity with Goans. This is no surprise since it’s the only competition of its kind in the entire country.
From a simple singing competition, Vem Cantar has taken on a life of its own and continues to get bigger each year. Inês Figueira, the current director of Fundação Oriente (India), said, “In the 4th edition (2001), there were 31 contestants (all solo). The group category was introduced in 2005 and had a total of 12 groups participating.” Last year’s edition of Vem Cantar saw 82 soloists and around 26 groups participating.
Participants are divided into different age groups and categories. From school children as young as 8 years old to adults as old as 70 years old, Vem Cantar has seen a multitude of talent through the years. Noted singers include famous Goan fadistas Sonia Sirsat and Nadia Rebelo as well as musicians like Franz Schubert Cotta, Orlando de Noronha, Carlos Meneses, Siddharth Cota among many more.
Vem Cantar 2018
Vem Cantar is back this year to regale audiences with a variety of singers. The competition is split into two categories which will take place at two different venues this year. The solo-singing competition will take place on Saturday, 22nd September at the Instituto Menezes Braganza hall. There will also be a group-singing competition the following Saturday, 6th October at Ravindra Bhavan in Margao. On both dates, the event will begin at 5 pm with entry free for all at both venues.
The competition is presented by Fundação Oriente and the Heritage Cell of the Rosary College of Commerce and Arts, Navelim, and in collaboration with the Semana Cultura da Indo Portuguesa. Sponsors include Camões – Centro de Língua Portuguesa em Goa, Club Vasco da Gama, Nostalgia – Raia, Cidade de Goa, and the Indo-Portuguese Friendship Society, among others.