Passion in Paradise: Modern Day Catholicism in Goa

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9789380739465: Passion in Paradise: Modern Day Catholicism in Goa

A lavishly-illustrated, full-colour book on Christianity in Goa, India. An introduction to the subject, including syncretic practise here... Christina Fernandes' latest project is a book entitled Passion in Paradise: Modern Day Catholicism in Goa. It is a documentation of Roman Catholic life in the Indian state of Goa. Most people, foreign as well as Indian, think of Goa as a place boasting virtually limitless sun, sea and sand, where beaches and the famous laid back lifestyle, or sossegado, awaits. But behind this fašade lies a different kind of Goa. Most of its people, no matter their creed, are devoutly religious and have strong ties to their cultural traditions. Faith in various forms plays a major role in the lives of most Christians as well as Hindus. This project explores the lives of Catholics in Goa today. Its aim is to describe the way people live their faith, explain how modern day customs are tied to past traditions and shed light on the historical processes underlying this development. Passion in Paradise is an overview of modern Catholicism in Goa. Its photographs depict the symbolism, which plays such an important role in the way the Catholic faith is practiced by Goans today. The images represent the celebration of customs on days with special religious significance as well as lived faith in everyday simple rituals. Goans engage in various syncretic practices, such as the Zagor and the attendance by both Hindus and Catholics of certain feasts. Passion in Paradise documents such practices and aims to explain how and why this syncretism came into existence. The project represents the photographer s first steps on a journey through the fascinating complexity that is Catholicism in contemporary Goa.

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About the Author:

Experience: Time Out Magazine Kingdom of Bahrain Jan - Oct 2009 Freelance Writer Red House Marketing Kingdom of Bahrain Aug 2007 - Jan 2009 Editor, Woman This Month magazine Assistant Editor, Bahrain This Month magazine Gulf News Dubai, UAE Aug 2005 - Aug 2006 Sub-editor International News WildAid London, UK Nov 2004 - Aug 2005 Multimedia Assistant Assumption University Bangkok,Thailand Oct 2002 - March 2003 Lecturer for English as a Foreign Language Medill News Service Washington, DC, USA June - Sep 2002 MTV.com Correspondent (Discrimination issues) Washingtonpost.com Special Project Reporter Newsday Correspondent Education: University of Westminster London, UK Master of Art in Photojournalism (Merit Award) 2011 Northwestern University Evanston, IL, USA Master of Science in Journalism (New Media Concentration) 2003 Marquette University Milwaukee, WI, USA Bachelor of Art in Journalism (Minor in Anthropology) 2001 Press: Passion in Paradise: Focusing on Catholicism in Goa Gomantak Times, 14. December 2012 [PDF file] Harmony in Paradise Heraldo, 20. December 2012 [PDF file] Looking beneath the surface of Goan Catholicism Planet Goa, December 2012 [PDF file] Understanding Catholicism in Goa Heraldo, 26. December 2012 [PDF file] Goan Catholicism viewed from the outside Goa Times, 03. January 2013 [PDF file] Professional Memberships: Associate of the Royal Photographic Society (ARPS)

Review:

Passion for a Goan Way of Life by Jose Lourenco on May 30, 2013 Passion for a Goan Way of Life Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via email A young German woman travels to her Goan husband s homeland and is fascinated by the vibrant Catholicism in Goa. She roams the state with her Rolliflex film camera in 2011, capturing vignettes of how people celebrate their faith in various moments and spaces of their lives. After further study of the history of the land and its rituals, a book is born. Christina Schulthoff-Fernandes book Passion in Paradise was published by Goa 1556 in 2012. This little square shaped book of 75 pages contains photographs of crosses and chapels by the roadside, religious calendars adorning home walls, zagor dancers, imagery of Hindu-Catholic syncretism and many more pictures, along with explanatory text. Streets Editor JosÚ Lourenšo caught up with Christina during her holiday in Goa. Did you grow up in a religious background? I didn t grow up in a very religious environment. My father is a lapsed Catholic and my mother is a lapsed Lutheran. In Germany the north is dominantly Lutheran and the South is Catholic. In Germany you have to pay Church Tax, if you are practicing the faith. My father exited the church as he had some bad experiences and turned hostile to organized religion. How did you get started off on this book? I got interested in Catholic culture in Goa after I met Glen, my husband. In Goa people live with their faith they say grace before meals, they have altars in their homes, they have so many rituals. In the West, churches are increasingly becoming empty. Do you think Goa will eventually follow this trend? I don t think that is imminent. Just because the West went that way doesn t mean Goa or the rest of India will go that way. In India people are quite religious; their religion is tied up with their lives. The feasts, the fairs...religion is much more social, more fun here. In Germany you would just go for Mass and that s it. The families there are also smaller, their events are more private. Do you think it is because of the evolution of societies? Because political and philosophical attitudes are different in Europe and India? It s not because of philosophical or political thinking. In India, less educated people may follow religion blindly, but educated people also follow organized religion. Is there some reason why some people can believe blindly and others cannot? My husband grew up religious, not so much in the technicalities of rituals, but in the bigger picture. I did not grow up religious, I have difficulty believing in all these beliefs. I don t know, I too wonder why some people believe and others don t. I am not a complete atheist, there are a lot of things that we don t understand at the edge of our knowledge. I see you photographed a picture of a religious sticker on a scooter in Goa. Do you see this in Germany? Are children named after saints or religious figures in Germany? Never. Maybe in Italy, they are very Catholic, or in Greece, among the Orthodox, but nowhere else in Europe. In Germany not many people are named after saints. If at all they name the child after a saint it is because of a fashion to use old names. There s no connection with religion. Did you feel awkward photographing people and places for your book in Goa? People didn t ask any questions. They were okay with my camera in their faces, very relaxed about having their picture taken, even during Mass or when ceremonies are going on. My husband s relatives were very cooperative, every time there was a feast they would say, come, we ll take you there. I went to the Zagor at Cacra and Nauxem.... --Goa Streets

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