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(Picture Courtesy: Darius)
GOA ! When you hear the name the pictures that comes to the mind are beautiful beaches, great food, one of the most relaxing nature adoring place, tourists from all over the world, wine, unusual dancing styles, techno and trance music and so many things. There are endless reasons why people fall in love with Goa- Lazing the whole day under the sun in Baga or Anjuna beaches and hitting the discs at night or sitting at the shore under the twinkling sky or a full moon night with endless beers and psychedelic trance music… just name it.
I visited Goa during 2002 February. That, was my first visit there and since then I have been visiting Goa every year. Several times I went there even twice a year to plunge into a place free from responsibilities, society and tensions and to break free like a HIPPY.
It was the winter of 2009: I was walking on the rocky Anjuna-Vagatore beach when I saw a group of foreigners with dreadlocks, tattoos all over, Hindu gods printed on the cloths and surrounded by thick smoke. I was amazed and curious to know more about them. I did know that they were Hippies but again I had never spoken to one before. So I approached them and I found them very friendly and got to know lot more about what being Hippie is all about and how they came.
In late 60’s a person name Eddie, also known as “Eight finger Eddie” was part of the first wave of foreign tourists to discover the shores of Goa. Eddie had eight fingers, three on the right hand and five on the left and was born that way. He emerged as the godfather of Hippy movement in Goa as he was one of the very first to plot Goa on the globe as a tourist destination. He spent 45 long years of his life in Anjuna and died last year October 18 at the age of 87.
Hippie sub-culture was originally a youth movement that arose in the United States during the mid-1960s. Like United States , many places in Europe and Russia also popularized the hippy culture, where some group of people did not want life to be complex with responsibilities or with the boundaries of the society. They were searching a life free from regularity and a life full of music to go crazy ,with plenty of cannabis (marijuana) to lose themselves into. It was a subconscious urge to be different, to lead a different life and escape from the real world.
At the onset of hippy movement, the “flower children” as the hippies came to be known , put Goa on travel journals, publications and magazines and it was not long when they said “NO“ to everything and set sail to live under the moon and the sun, landing up in Goa and making Colva, Vagatore and Anjuna their home. It was a new world they had come in search of and there They experimented life in unusual way. They were experimenting life with drugs, sex: experimenting a life in harmony with nature. In fact They were hungry for the discovery of living a life in their own way called “Hippy way of living” in the safe and serene environs of Colva, Vagatore and Anjuna Beach ,where they rocked and rolled, danced , cooked , ate and slept under the blue sky. There was no necessity for money as they did not have to pay anybody. They shared life and shared a living.
In the Hippy sub-culture, unmarried couples of all ages are free to travel and live together without any societal approval. They are open towards sexual matters and believe in sexual freedom, be it homosexuality, bisexuality or transsexual nature and are tolerant even towards people who choose not be categorized at all. But of course changes have taken place, as change is constant. Religious and cultural diversity has expanded to a very high magnitude. Co-operative business enterprises and creative community living arrangements have become more acceptable now than before.
Music was a very integral part of a hippy life. When it came to music, hippies started with traditional instruments for music. But since music was very much a necessity rather than leisure for them, they found the need to change to a more energy emitting nature of music. So a hippy called Steve Devas went to Hong Kong and got the Fendorums, Lead guitars and Base guitars. A new trend was introduced as the Hippy Rock n Roll, which was very different from the rock n roll of 70’s, better known as “Rave n Roll”. Later a group of hippies went back to Berlin and brought new powerful amplifiers, and the music began to be called high hippy music with techno stuff. The folk rock and psychedelic rock popular among hippies evolved into genres such as acid rock, world beat and heavy metal music. Psychedelic trance (also known as psytrance) is a type of electronic music influenced by 1960s psychedelic rock.
As a radical development, They also started small market places to sell their stuff or to exchange with others. Today there are two such Saturday night markets- one in Arpora another one in Anjuna.
Goa, the land of bliss, is for all to enjoy- the sophisticated tourists or the independent back packers. Hippies only add more glamour to the vibrant existence of Goa and offer an unparalleled experience as a tourist in Goa. Locals in Anjuna credit hippies like Eddie, Steve, Goa Gil Vidal Angel, Tobias Moss, Haya Zommer, Serge and many others for giving birth to a new industry called tourism. *Today tourism is a key driver of the Goa’s economy and India’s richest state with a GDP per capita two and a half times that of the country as a whole. It was ranked the best placed state by the Eleventh Finance Commission for its infrastructure and ranked on top for the best quality of life in India by the National Commission on Population*.
*(Data from Wiki)
(Thanks to Rakib,Darius,Makki,Gen-hish & D’phak for assisting).
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