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Goan Voice Newsletter: Wednesday 10 Feb. 2021


Death: Virginia Monteiro Vaz (Aunty Urban). Ex Bambolim, Ex Arusha, Ex Dar Es Salaam

7 Feb. 2021: London. Most Cherished Mother, Grandmother and Aunty. With a heavy heart The Vaz family would like to announce the peaceful passing of Virginia Maria (Monteiro) Vaz, also known as Aunty Urban on the 07/02/2021 in London surrounded by her family. Beloved wife to the late Urbano Vaz and a loving Mother to Joaquim/Martha (TZ), Francis/Flaviana (UK), Angelo/Maura (UK), Peter/Jacky (UK), Anceto/Catherine (UK) and Theresa/Anthony (TZ). She also leaves behind her Grandchildren & Great Grandchildren who she loved dearly. Virginia was born on the 15/04/1928 in Bambolim, Goa and later moved to Tanzania with her husband where they raised their loving family. In her later years she moved to London where she joined most of her Children. Virginia was a hard worker, beautiful, humble and loving person who dedicated her life to her faith. May Virginia rest in peace and let perpetual light shine upon her. She will be truly missed by many and forever in our heart. Please email: for details of the online funeral service,
Funeral Streaming link: Virginia’s funeral will be on Monday, 22/02/2021 at 12.30 (GMT) and will be available on replay for 90 days.

Funeral Announcement: Maria Alba Fernandes, ex Mombasa and Nairobi

The Funeral Mass for Alba Fernandes will take place at St. Mary's Catholic Church, 70 Wellesley Road Croydon, CR0 2AR on 18th February 2021 at 12.30pm. Due to Covid restrictions only family will attend. Friends are welcome to join the online livestream at or
The Burial Service will follow at Croydon Cemetery, Mitcham Road, London, CR9 3AT at 2pm. In lieu of flowers a donation can be made in memory of Alba to the British Heart Foundation using the link; You can also email or call 0300 330 3322
All members of Alba's family offer their sincere and heartfelt thanks for your messages of comfort, love, sympathy, support and Mass offerings following the loss of our deeply beloved Alba. Enquiries to:
For the Maria Alba Fernandes Death Notice, click here.

Death: Neville Pereira
8 Feb: Toronto. It is with deep sorrow and much love that we mourn the passing of Neville Pereira at the age of 89 in Toronto, Canada. He leaves behind his loving wife Yvette (Cidade) and his children Cornell / Jacqueline, Cheron/Delina, Sherard/late Clara, and grandchildren Andre, Kristen, Charlaine, Chloe, Rochelle & Seymour. He was much loved by his siblings, late Loretta / late Tony, Oswyn / late Helen, Darryl / Pixie, Colleen/Hubert and late Terence / Charlotte. Photo. click here.

Death: Francisco Rebello
22 Jan: Hayes, London. FRANCISCO ELEUTERIO REBELLO (Goa / UK) Born 1963. Beloved Husband of Candelina Rebello, Loving Father/Father-in-law of Royston/Steffi, Grandfather of Eudora. Son of Late Eleuterio & Late Piedade Rebello, Dearest Brother/Brother-in-law of Milagrin/Late Luis, Benjamin/Maria. Philomena/Late Raymond. Seby/Joanita, Late Natividade/Late Jose. Peter/Croslin, Santan/Monica. Christine/Milton. Baptist/Julie, Cruz/Joalinda. Funeral service will be held on 11 Feb 2021 at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church. Botwell Ln, Hayes UB3 2AB, at l0am GMT followed by burial at Hortus Cemetery, Southall. Photo click here.

News Summary

Covid: South Asian death rates still ‘alarming’ in second wave

9 Feb: BBC. During the first wave, people belonging to ethnic minorities experienced higher death rates than white people. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that, for black people, this gap had closed. But for South Asian people, particularly from Bangladeshi and Pakistani backgrounds, the raised mortality rate remained "alarming". The study used official data on 28.9 million people aged between 30 and 100 living in private households in England between the first wave (from January until the end of August 2020) and the second wave (from September to the end of December 2020)… South Asian people had up to about a five-times greater risk of death with coronavirus compared with white British people - ranging from a 4.8-fold increase in the risk of dying for Pakistani men to 1.6 times higher for Indian women…  click here
9 Feb: Mirror (UK). Black and Asian groups avoiding Covid jab due to 'poor handling' of crisis, peer says. Lord Simon Woolley, the founder of Operation Black Vote, said mistrust of politicians combined with social media misinformation has resulted in black and Asian communities being less likely to have the coronavirus vaccine …  click here
9 Feb: BBC. Covid-19: Travellers face £1,750 cost for England quarantine hotels … click here.

How a Goan Catholic girl became a Pakistani superstar

9 Feb: News In Asia. Cynthia Alexander Fernandes, who had a role in the Ava Gardner-Stewart Granger film Bhowani Junction became a superstar in the Pakistani film word in the 1960s as “Neelo” breaking all barriers in a Muslim country … The swinging ’60s decade really belonged to Neelo, the one actress who could act and dance, had a captivating smile, could be termed a sex symbol and also had multiple hits to her credit. Born Cynthia Alexander Fernandes to a Catholic family of Sargodha on June 30, 1940, Neelo started her career from a minor role in Bhowani Junction (1956)…It was April 1965 Neelo was summoned by the Governor of West Pakistan for a dance performance in front of the visiting Shah of Iran. Neelo refused and was harassed by some officers, so she attempted suicide by taking sleeping pills. Impressed by her brave act of resistance, writer/director Riaz Shahid proposed marriage to her. She converted to Islam. In all, Neelo acted in 140 films in a career spanning 42 years … She died on January 30, 2021 aged 81… 1224 words  click here
Video: The story of Neelo, the Shah of Iran and Zarqa — the first diamond jubilee film of Pakistan …  click here
For the Wikipedia profile of Neelo, click here.

Haima Simoes and Shruti Venkatesh: “We’re not just a couple, we’re also best friends”

3 Feb: Vogue (India). In a post-377 India, the country’s LGBTQ+ community is finding greater acceptance and is voicing its experiences. Haima Simoes and Shruti Venkatesh, the first same-sex couple to make it to the cover of Vogue India, talk about the need for greater inclusion through a love story that is primed to inspire every generation today … When Haima Simoes, 25, came out at age 13, first to her friends and later to her sister, things were difficult. She was bullied at school but was lucky to have a solid support system at home. “My family has always been accepting. They are my biggest allies,” she says. Before returning home to Goa, where she’s riding out the pandemic, Simoes lived in Mumbai for six years, where she attended Sophia College and graduated in advertising. There, in 2017, she met 22-year-old psychology student Shruti Venkatesh… 1158 words.  click here
Instagram: Haima Simoes …  click here
10 Feb. 2020: Grazia: This Month, It's All About Love And Here's How We're Redefining It … click here.

Portugal: Stories from India

9 Feb: Diario de Noticias. (Portugal) By Luís Filipe Castro Mendes (photo). In 2007 I was ambassador in New Delhi, where the EU-India summit was held that year … during the final press conference a Portuguese journalist, asked if the Portuguese were not ashamed to be there in India, not already as conquerors, like Vasco da Gama, but now only as negotiators… But Vasco da Gama did not arrive in Calicut as a conqueror but to open a new route for trade between Europe and the East … It is difficult for us to understand that the Goan reality is not as visible to Indians as we would like it to be… Some Goans wish they had never become Indian. Other Goans wish they had never been Portuguese. None of them are right, because history is not disowned, it is transformed… After the entry in 1961 of the Indian Army, a brave Sikh official in the neighborhood of Fontainhas, this soldier was shocked to hear a lady speaking Portuguese and said in a reproachful tone: "Why are you speaking the language of your colonizer?” To which the Goan lady promptly responded with another question: "And why are you speaking the language of YOUR colonizer?" 552 words.  click here
For the Portuguese original,  click here

Carnival (at the table) around the world

… 9 Feb: La Repubblica (Italy) … Goa - AleBelle (coconut crepes). … In Goa, the traditions of Portuguese origin have taken root. Here too the king of Carnival is elected, called Rey Momo (or King Momo) … On Shrove Tuesday the population takes to the streets to celebrate and set up their parades. Today they are quite traditional, but in the past during the Portuguese domination, the cathartic reversal of roles took place at Carnival: the colonized people got on the wagons and for one night they were the lords of the city, while the rulers remained "with their feet on the ground". The typical dish of this festival are the "AleBelle ", crepes filled with freshly grated coconut and the sap of the same fruit which, heated on the plate, turns into a delicious molasses…  click here
For the Italian original,  click here

Xacuti in the air stirs up the cauldron of what’s Goan or not

10 Feb: Herald. Goan cuisine seems like an ocean with anything and everything being passed off as Goan fare. The importance of saving Goan cuisine has taken a life all its own. Café spoke to chefs to get their reactions… Vasco Alvares chef felt all the food in Goa was influenced by the Portuguese… Chef Ryan Semelhago runs a home catering service and was very blunt when he said he had a different view on what constituted Goan food… Elvis Victor of Antogitos food truck bemoaned the fact that vindaloo which usually meant pork was now being made with chicken… Mayur Dhond felt no one could be stopped from doing what they wanted to do with food… Michael Mascarenhas said he was making an attempt to promote genuine Goan food… Griselda Costa who curates dining experiences said many of the tourists were not aware of the places where genuine Goan food was available… 822 words.  click here

A line of masalas, but also a legacy

9 Feb: Boston Globe. Floyd Cardoz was one of New York’s acclaimed chefs and restaurateurs, a man raised in India who moved to the United States and brought Indian flavors to American dishes. He died in March of the coronavirus. Cardoz was in the midst of a project, introducing a line of masalas in collaboration with Burlap & Barrel, a New York spice importer who directly sources single-origin spices from small farms. Floyd’s wife, Barkha, has forged ahead working with Burlap & Barrel, and launched three Floyd Cardoz masalas with more to come. “I wanted to carry out his legacy. I needed to do this,” says Barkha, who first met Floyd in culinary school in India… Goan masala, smoky and gingery with turmeric and cinnamon, delivers heat but isn’t searing…  click here
For the Floyd Cardoz Wikipedia profile,  click here

Amid concern, bullfights still a rage in the Goa underground

9 Feb: IANS. A hastily typed Whatsapp message, peppered with typos, canvassing a contest between 'Rocky' and 'Tyson' near Goa's Siridao beach, isn't an invite to a boxing match. More likely, it is a hush-hush call to witness an illegal bullfight between two well-groomed fighting bulls, a rage in Goa's coastal underground. In recent days however, the death of two bulls in two separate bullfights -- locally called dhirio -- have raised the hackles of Goa's gaurakshaks and animals' rights activists, who now want the state government to crack down on such fights which have been banned by the Bombay High Court since 1996. Despite the ban, these bull fights are common in Goa's villages…  click here
10 Feb: Herald. CM directs cops to crack down on bullfights. Government to tighten noose around operators of illegal pet shops …  click here

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