Sun, sand, surf and susegad! You’re in Goa for a holiday, but what do you take back home from the land of feni? Sarah Merchant finds out.
The tiny state of Goa along the West coast, is one of the most popular holiday destinations in India. This former Portuguese colony reflects a unique mix of Indian and Portuguese culture. And while tourists head home with the usual souvenirs of tie-and-die t-shirts, scarves, Bebinca, feni and variously-flavoured liqueurs, there is quite a lot of off-beat shopping to be done in this vibrant city-state.
The samai, a tree-like oil lamp which has flower motifs all over, is one of the best examples of Goan brass work. You could also pick up a variety of intricately molded brass artefacts such as statues, oil lamps and candle stands. Tibetan stalls sell exquisitely-designed Buddha and Maitreya statues.
Every Goan home has a terracotta article regardless of the purpose, utility or decorative value. You can pick up pen holders, decorative flowerpots and figurines of saints and gods.
Bamboo craft is mostly practised by the artisans of the Mahar community. Useful items include flowerpots, baskets, pen stands, lightweight furniture and letter holders.
Goa’s beaches are full of pretty shells, and while you can easily pick these up as souvenirs, you can also pick up shell craft made by locals. Ordinary chandeliers, lampshades, curtains, coasters and mirror frames are converted into enchanting articles and you can take a few of these back home to remind you of the wonderful time you had.
Jute craft items make for excellent souvenirs. Stylish and trendy handbags, belts, wall mounts, lamp shades, flower pots and other household articles are woven in Goa and sold by the roadside.
Papier mache, usually attributed to Kashmir and Rajasthan, is also a craft practised in Goa. You can get lovely masks and figurines from Government outlets, as well as at beach stalls.
Food & Drinks
Bebinca, a traditional Goan desert made of flour, eggs and sugar is extremely popular in, and outside Goa. Feni, a liquor made of cashew, is a strongly flavoured drink which not everyone takes to easily. Cashew, spices and flavoured liqueurs are some other popular souvenir exports of Goa.
Goan Handicrafts Emporium,
2, Onion Building,
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