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Becoming Goan: A Contemporary Coming-Home Story

Release date: 22 December 2023
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Description

Goa’s magnetism and its promise of a relaxed, almost bohemian lifestyle, have always attracted ad... Read More

Product Description

Goa’s magnetism and its promise of a relaxed, almost bohemian lifestyle, have always attracted admirers and colonizers. Before the locals could make up their minds about such interlopers, Covid-19 brought hordes of them to town—Michelle Mendonça Bambawale was one of them. In June 2020, Michelle found herself moving to the 160-year-old house she had inherited in Siolim, a village in North Goa, with her human and canine family.

Having never lived in Goa before, she couldn’t help but wonder if her Goan ancestry made her an insider or if she would forever remain an outsider. In this memoir, she confronts her complex relationship with her Goan Catholic heritage and explores themes of identity, culture, migration, stereotypes and labels.

She also uncovers some of the uncanniest legends that pervade Siolim, including those of St. Anthony and the Snake, Sao Joao, and the statue of Beethoven. She also takes us back to Siolim and Goa in the 1970s and 1980s, where she spent her summer vacations without paved roads or electricity, pulling water from a well. Today, she dodges reeking septic tankers, earth movers and piling plastic garbage while walking her Labrador, Haruki.

Becoming Goan is a heartfelt and charming story of Michelle's love for this land that her grandparents left her. She cares deeply about Goa's biodiversity and is distraught about the environmental impact of tourism, construction and mining. Her devotion to Mother Earth deepens as she learns more about her roots, steeped as they are in syncretic traditions.

 

Product Details

Title: Becoming Goan: A Contemporary Coming-Home Story
Author: Michelle Mendonça Bambawale
Publisher: Ebury Press - PRH Local
SKU: BK0484184
EAN: 9780143462361
Language: English
Release date: 22 December 2023

About Author

Michelle Mendonça Bambawale I am an amalgamation of cultures, Goan by ancestry, Indian by birth and passport, and international in attitude and mindset. I was born in Poona (Pune) in 1966, where I spent the first 20 years of my life (the longest I have lived in any one place, thus far). I went to Bombay (Mumbai) in 1986 to study and then work. In 1993, we started our expat life (not a migrant, so a very different life experience) in Dubai, Bangkok, and London. After eighteen years of living as an expat and looking in from the outside at the host country and culture, I am now relishing the view as insider. Though I don’t speak Konkani, I feel a sense of belonging. Restoring my ancestral home has been a labour of love and discovery for me. There is more to this village than the narrative of travel and food bloggers, Instagrammers, influencers and real estate brochures selling Siolim with beautiful photos of river views, backwaters and village charms. It was time to tell my own story - my “finding Siolim” story. I hope you will hear the authenticity of my voice as I reminisce and reflect on myself, my village, my culture, my community and Goan rural life in the 2020s. The pandemic inspired me to resurrect my blog and share my observations, anecdotes and musings on my life in Siolim with my friends and followers. I felt it was important to record this time in history, the uncertainty on the one hand, and the solidity of reconnecting to my roots on the other. I had enough insights to weave a narrative. I believe I have a strong opinion, an active imagination and a great sense of humour. So here is my first book Becoming Goan.

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