Goans in the UK who missed the traditional Bonderam festival in Divar got a chance to revel in a unique Bonderam festival which was hosted with similar fervour at Cranford Community College, Hounslow, West London, on September 2.
The Traditional Divar Bonderam in UK 2023, organised for the second successive year by Thousand Wishes Decor and Events, consisted of colourful traditional floats, live performances, DJ music, creative fancy dress competition and Goan cuisine. An estimated 1,000 people attended the event, which was supported by the United Goans Wembley and Divar Islanders UK.
One of the highlights of Bonderam Fest UK 2023 was the Floats parade and a fancy dress competition, keeping people of all ages entertained.
“Four floats showcased the rich cultural heritage of Goa. One float focused on Goan harvesting, Flowers and Goan fruits with dancers, while another float featured a Goan fishing community with a trawler. A third float depicted Goan musical instruments like Ghumot, Violin, Saxophone, Guitar, coconut tree etc. with seven pairs of dancers led by Cynen, Marzia & Vedra, while the fourth float had a social message to ‘Care for Nature, Don't litter as Plastic Chokes’. These floats were designed by Freddy Ferrao, an artiste specially flown from Goa, with the help of Creative Robert from Swindon,” said Keegan D'Costa, proprietor of the Thousand Wishes Decor and Events company.
“The float parade was conducted outdoors to give people a feel of what happens in Divar, where floats pass along the street with people witnessing the parade from either side of the road.”
Commenting on the fancy dress competition, Keegan said people of all ages took part in the contest in two categories, juniors and seniors.
“The fancy dress competition brought out the imaginative side of the participants and were very competitive, prizes were presented to winners in both categories,” he said.
The entertainment indoors included music performances by Avina Furtado, Elaine Pinto and Leroy Pereira, DJ Roydon and DJ Purab, while leading band ‘Treble Makers’ later took center-stage with an enthralling performance setting the stage on fire.
The event was hosted by Cassius Gomes, who kept the crowd engaged throughout the evening. There was also a special dance performance by Jason Sylvia Dance Academy students and a surprise guest performance by Aldon.
Goan snacks and cuisine was provided by Luiza's Kitchen, while a Bouncy Castle was provided as added entertainment for children,
Asked to explain the purpose of organising Bonderam in the UK, Keegan D'Costa said: “Bonderam is usually organised in Divar in August, but since many Goans and those hailing from Divar could not attend Bonderam in Goa, we decided to make Goans feel at home away from home by providing a similar festival flavour here in London.”
“This event is not to raise funds, but just pure entertainment to keep Goan tradition alive here in London.”
Keegan D’Costa informed that Nheha Gomes and Ken Thomson were invited as Guests of Honour at the Bonderam festival.
“Nheha Gomes is a public servant currently within enforcement and contracts. Additionally, she has experience in hospitality, fashion and retail, oil and gas industry. Since working within the local government, she has also gained experience with events such as the Notting Hill Carnival, Queen Jubilee and the Queen’s funeral. One claim to fame is that Nheha got into the Guinness Book of World Records by having the most chefs in one place at the Meydan in Dubai,” said Keegan D’Costa.
(Photos by Nalika Azavedo, John Mendes and Freddy Ferrao)