The Students Council of Carmel College for Women along with well-wishers recently hosted the Muzganchem Fest (Festival of Music) in its campus on 09-12-2017. Principal Sr Aradhana A.C. lit the traditional lamp and welcomed all the students and visitors alike to the festival. It was a unique festival to celebrate Konkani language, culture, sports, performing arts and fine arts. Workshops were held a day in advance wherein resource persons shared their expertise, skills and knowledge. Jermaine Cope and Gemma Fernandes shared their experiences as Drama experts, Minguel Braganza shared his insights at the plant workshop, Augustine Dias and Fabian D’Souza of Goa United shared their football expertise, Agnelo Dias and Olavo Gama trained the girls at traditional games, Michael Gracias at the Tiatro Workshop, Alezyx and Clarice Vaz at the Art space, Pandurang Phaldessai at the ghumott workshop, Glenis Mendonca at the Konkani Gitam Workshop and the Pound rhythms were set ablaze by Dance tutor Cliszma da Costa.

Narayan Vernekar and Akshay Chari, students of Goa college of Art-Panjim made their presence felt by creating a beautiful clay-model of Gemma Fernandes. Savio Godinho made the students and kids happy by painting festive tattoos on their hands.

The highlight of the festival was a record breaking performance of sixty-nine women Ghumot players who played this otherwise male-centric instrument with skill and agility in the presence of ex-student Adv. Caroline Collaso who corroborated the same. Sanjeev Sardessai, noted historian spoke on the occasion and congratulated the staff and students. The world’s first women’s Ghumot Club was formed on this occasion. The giant ghumot and mandallem was kept on display.

The evening resounded to the rhythm of Joao Carmin Braganza and his boys along with Felina (a Carmel girl student) who belted out some traditional Goan songs on the trumpet, saxophone, snare and bass drums to the beats of cymbals. School children played on the violin and were ably trained by Maestro Joao Carmin Braganza. In a tete-a-tete with the octogenarian musician, Glenis Mendonca interviewed Braanza about his struggles to keep the musical tradition alive over the last eighty years. The fest was interspersed with folk dances like the kotti fuggdi, traditional songs like the Manddo-dulpodam and the San Joao git among others. O’Luv kept the musical fever at a high pitch with his popular hits like “Ami Goenkar” and “Score a Goal” and displayed his unique skill at making melody with a comb.

The ambience looked colourful with flags and standees of various colours. It was truly festive. Grams were served to all present. The staff and students prepared the traditional Goenche jevonn and snacks, Christmas sweets and sanna-sorpotel and the Nuvem-special kholle. Goa’s only Women’s College had a rare display of Woman’s Empowerment through the Muzganchem Fest 2017.

Picture credits Gordon Mendonca