World Goa Day 2019 Cartoon Contest Exploring and 

Nurturing Our Goan Identity

Twenty years of celebrating World Goa Day are nearing successful completion, and a global cartoon contest is being organised with the theme of ‘Goa’. This event is open to the Goan diaspora irrespective of age and gender. Your cartoons can be uploaded to the World Goa Day Facebook page  until the 30th of June 2019.

World Goa Day was first celebrated on the 20th of August 2000 with a special emphasis on the date as it is when Konkani, Goa’s native language, was included in the 8th schedule of the Indian Constitution by the Indian Parliament in 1992. The date varies in countries around the world for the reason of practicality but is always celebrated around the original date.

The cartoon contest for 2019’s World Goa Day is of particular significance because it sees a collaboration between the founder of World Goa day Rene Barreto and Goa’s own socio-political cartoonist Smitha Bhandare Kamat. The focus of this competition is to create a sense of connectivity with one’s roots in the numerous Goans spread over the world, specifically the younger generation.

Of this partnership with Smitha, Rene says, ‘It is unfortunate that we have not given our Goans in Goa the exposure they duly deserve. Smitha is a very talented young Goan lady. Having read about her works and her profession, I thought I’d invite her to set up an event for our WGD 2019. Smitha, to my delight, agreed. And the rest is what is happening.’

‘We have a panel of judges who will judge the entries on a uniform criteria that will be transparent. A messenger group is functioning to keep everyone in the loop,’ says Smitha. Noted international jury members for the competition include Mr Yüksel Cengiz from Turkey, Ms Keti Radevska from Macedonia, Mr James Vaz from Bangalore, and Mr Joseph Dias from Goa. The event sponsor is Nirvana Arts Pvt Ltd.

This novel contest has had 34 entries in less than three weeks. The competition has received the maximum foreign entries from Goans in Mozambique, followed by Nigeria, UK, Portugal and a very positive response from Goa. Guest entries have come in from other parts of India (Kerala, Karnataka, Telangana, and Gujarat) and from various parts of the world (Egypt, Macedonia, Dubai and so on).

Smitha says, ‘The primary reason for initiating a cartoon event of a global scale was to provide a platform for the Goan diaspora – a platform to showcase their art. We’re indeed happy that we went ahead as we have entries from a 10 year old to a 78 year old, which is incredible. We have entries from different parts of the world and also have foreign jury members so that they can give us input that will enable us to improve our next event.’

The contest is not meant to set apart artwork entirely for the artistic prowess of the participants. Smitha says, ‘If you’ve noticed, we have not insisted on the technicalities of the artwork as many are not familiar. The primary motive is to urge people to draw about Goa, especially the next generation who are not in Goa. It will motivate them to read up, research, and get to know their roots better.’