Thursday, 23 July 2020

Goa & Mangalore – many similarities?





Since Goa and Mangalore are both situated on the coastal areas, the hot and humid climate, the staple food of rice and love for seafood is common, so is the language, Konkani. The people in both the places are friendly, but Goans are more extrovert, liberal and a bit westernised, whereas Mangaloreans are more introvert and conservative, with incidents of moral policing by certain groups in the recent past tarnishing the image. On the face of it, Goa and Mangalore have many similarities, but as you read on, you will realize though very similar, actually they aren’t similar. The way of life in Goa is different from Mangalore. Goans and Mangaloreans who have seen both the places will vouch for it.

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Goa and Mangalore are both situated on the west coast of India. Goa is a small state tucked in between Maharastra to the north and Karnataka to the south. Mangalore is towards south Karnataka, with Kerala border not very far. So the climate is hot and humid and the staple food being rice is common. Both Goans and Mangaloreans love seafood. The distance between Goa and Mangalore is about 5-6 hours by train. Both the places are served by Konkan Railway. And both Goa and Mangalore are accessible by road, rail, air and sea. Mangalore has an international airport with flights to and from Gulf countries. Both have busy sea ports.

Mangalore skyline
Many Goans work abroad or foreign ships or have settled in foreign countries. A large number of Mangaloreans too work abroad in gulf and other countries or have settled abroad for years. Many of them occupy senior positions in reputed companies. Many Mangaloreans have their roots in Goa, many of whom migrated during the reign of Adil Shah and later Portuguese rule. They  have gone and settled as far as Kerala. Many of them still have their family dieties in Goa. Most of the Mangalorean Catholics have migrated from Goa and adopted local customs and traditions but haved retained their language. There are many instances of Goans and Mangaloreans marrying and feeling at home as the environment, language, spicy food and lifestyle is almost same as back home in Goa or Mangalore. And the people of both places are outgoing, friendly and helpful.


Panjim, Goa
Apart from being situated in the coastal area, another common factor being both were under Portuguese rule, Goa was under Portuguese rule till the sixities when the Indian army action merged Goa with India. Mangalore was under Portuguese rule for a short period,  as they were harassed and defeated by the daring Abbakka Rani and later by Tipu Sultan. But later again the Portuguese captured Mangalore, but somehow they couldn’t hold on to it for long as Mangalore soon came under British rule as rest of India, and was brought under Madras Presidency for goverence. Konkani is spoken in Goa. In Mangalore too Konkani is spoken alongwith Kannada the state language, Tulu, spoken in South Kanara district, Beary spoken by the Muslims. But there is a variation in the Konkani spoken in Goa and Mangalore, just as there is a variation in the Konkani spoken by Hindus and Catholics in Goa and Mangalore.

Mangalore International Airport
Goa and Mangalore are known for beautiful temples and churches. There are many ancient temples and old gothic design churches in Goa, and same is the case in Mangalore, dotted with churches. Similarly you find old Portuguese style villas and cottages in both Goa and Mangalore. Both Goans and Mangaloreans are equally proud of their homelands, Goa and Mangalore, including South Kanara district, they call as Tulunad. Mangaloreans are a distinct people as compared to others in the state of Karnataka. Sometime ago there was an agitation for a separate Tulunad, comprising mainly South Kanara district and Udupi district, spanning from the boundry of North Kanara up to Kasargod in North Kerala.

Flea market on beach, Goa
In spite of certain prejudices both Goan Catholics and Mangaloreans may have against each other, the fact remains that that they belong to the same Konkani Catholic culture. A Goan outside of Goa would get along better with a Mangalorean and vice-versa. A Mangalorean would rather marry a Goan than a Catholic from other Southern states like Kerala or Chennai.
Buildings in Mangalore

Here the similarities end. Mangalore in a way is a much more developed city compared to Goa, being a petrochemical hub, banking, healthcare and education hub. Corporate offices and maajor IT companies are located here. Mangalore has the tallest buildings in South India. Mangalore city and the beaches are the cleanest in India. With many big malls, huge showrooms and big automobile, jewellery and appliances outlets, Mangalore is a modern  growing city. Here the new modern towers and buildings stand in harmony with the ancient structures. A well planned combination of the old and new. Since I visit Goa and Mangalore often, I can tell you this with confidence. Goans too who have visited Mangalore will confirm this.

Tourists at the beach
Mangalorean cuisines are much better compared to Goa as Mangalore has a wide range of vegetarian and non-vegetarian cuisines, sweets and snacks. Mangalore is known for its spicy seafood with popular restaurants catering to locals, outsiders and foreign tourists.  Every early morning boats loaded with fresh and big fishes from Mangalore reach Goan docks.

Village scene, Mangalore
Goa is quite overrated than Mangalore and other coastal cities from a tourism point of view. Goa is very much over hyped. But because of the publicity an image has been created that Goa is a place to chill out with family and friends. Goa is projected as beach and boozers spot. But Goa is much more than that, which the tourists are not aware of. The projection of Goa over the years has created this mindset on the outsiders and tourists that Goa is just for fun and booze.

Sea side Resort, Goa
Consumer prices including rent are lower in Mangalore than in Goa. Goans are generally more extrovert, fun loving, and laid back, whereas Mangaloreans are generally more reserved, serious, and thrifty. Goans are more westernised, whereas Mangaloreans though modern, don’t make it obvious. Many Goans have a soft corner for Portugal, whereas Mangaloreans don’t even think of them, they have forgotten the Portuguese past. Most Mangaloreans have even forgotten that Mangalore was once ruled by Portuguese, though for a short period, but the older generation fondly remember the British rule.

District Commissioner's office, M'lore
Goa has suffered due to unstable governments, politicians and petty politics. Mangalore is a well governed city with much more development in infrastructure, business, academics, medical care, which has encouraged and started medical tourism mainly from Kerala, other states and middle east. While in Goa the main thrust has been on tourism only.

Good time at the beach, Goa
Mangalore scores over Goa in public transport. Latest, clean and well managed  private buses and government buses run efficiently connecting all the parts of the city and outskirts at a reasonable fare. Auto drivers are polite and run on meter. Taxis too are clean and charge fixed fares. Whereas in Goa if you don’t have your own means of transport, you are bound to suffer and spend time on bargaining and shell out quite an amount on autos or other means of transport. Taxi mafia in Goa is famous as they not only charge exhorbitant fares to locals but tourists are harassed. They dont even allow app based cabs to run freely, creating hurdles in their way.


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Murdeshwar temple, Murdeshwar, Karnataka
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