Supplement to Newsletter
Edited by Eddie Fernandes,
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South East England Goans: Children’s Christmas Party, 2008

By Selma Carvalho

It was a pleasant surprise meeting Chris Pinto, President, of the South East Goans Association. Had I met him anywhere in the world, I would have recognised him for a fellow Goan but meeting him along with that other bearded honorary Goan, Mr Santa Claus, was a double treat.

The S.E Goans of England are a small tight-knit community of about 150 families spread along Kent. Most of them are second-generation British Goans, their parents having come from East Africa in the sixties. The S.E Goans Association dates back some 30 years now and is actively involved in organising dances and other community events for its members.

It was obvious right from the start that a lot of preparation had gone into arranging this Christmas party for the kids. At the far end of the room was a table laden with goodies of samosas, chips, pizzas, ham sandwiches and chocolate fingers. After a game of musical chairs and dancing to the national anthem of Goan parties, the Hokey Pokey, a mysterious magician in a black hat and his trusty side-kick produced magic wands and squeals of delight amongst the young ones. Later, cherubic angels, with white gossamer wings and silver halos peeked their faces and led us into a nativity play. The highlight of the evening was Santa Claus, arriving on a makeshift wooden sleigh and leading the children in a North Pole dance. Santa must have had a patient, frozen ear as each child sat on his knee and told him their wishes before receiving a beautifully wrapped present. As I was leaving, I saw Chris standing right next to Santa, hoping to get his own present for the year. I hope he’s been a good boy, Santa!


Funded by donations from the UK Goan Community.