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Monday, April 21, 2014


Polish Tradition
Polish Easter Basket
My daughter-in-law's mother Teresa kept up with Polish tradition when we had them over for a family Easter lunch at our place. She did this by bringing over to our house a meaningful Polish Easter Basket, prepared by her from the goodness of heart, on behalf of my grandson Ari. This custom represents good wishes, and indicate true values meant from the virtue of the heart in the Catholic faith by celebrating Easter and the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

What the basket holds in this Eastertide presentation is truly significant. The description in the list of contents below says it all.

Incidentally, Ari and his two cousins participated in the preparation of the above basket - they hand-coloured the eggs and applied Easter-appropriate stickers on them.

Thank you Teresa for this wonderful gift.

Maslo (butter) This favorite dairy product is often shaped into a lamb (Baranek Wielkanocny) or a cross. This reminds us of the goodness of Christ that we should have toward all things.

Babka (Easter bread) - A round loaf topped with a cross or a fish, symbolic of Jesus, who is our true Bread of Life.

Chrzan (horseradish with grated red beets) - Symbolic of the Passion of Christ still in our minds but sweetened with some sugar because of the Resurrection.

Jajka (eggs) and Pisanki (decorated with the symbols of Easter, of life, of prosperity) -Indicate new life and Christ's Resurrection from the tomb.

Kielbasa (sausage) - A spicy sausage of pork products, indicative of God's favor and generosity.

Szynka (ham) - Symbolic of great joy and abundance. Some prefer lamb or veal. The lamb also reminds Catholics that the Risen Christ is the 'Lamb of God."

Slonina (smoked bacon) - A symbol of the over abundance of God's mercy and generosity.

Sol (salt) - So necessary an element in our physical life, that Jesus used its symbolism: "You are the salt of the earth."

Ser (cheese) - Shaped into a ball, it is the symbol of the moderation Christians should have at all times.

A candle in the basket represents Christ, the Light of the World. A colorful ribbon and sometimes sprigs of greenery are attached. A linen cover is drawn over the top and it is ready for the priest's visit or for the trek to church where it is joined with the baskets of others to await the blessing that will render it fit for consumption on Easter Sunday.

Material compiled by the Polish Museum of America, Chicago, Illinois - 2002

Tuesday, April 15, 2014




Santana D'Cunha
Born: 28 September 1946
Died: 15 April 2014

Gama Vaddo, Parra, Bardez, Goa

                      God gave us a fine jewel and then He took it away. Santana, my first cousin, was soft-spoken, and didn't say much, but when we said good-bye to her before leaving Goa after spending our holidays there two years ago, her tears said it all. "God knows when we will meet again" were her parting words. Sadly, providence ruled otherwise. She was indeed a very gentle and kind person. Always humble and soft spoken with only good to say about anyone, and to anyone. 

                      Santana's passing away will leave a huge void in our family. We have together lost one great human being. Together we share our moment of great sorrow.

                      May the soul of Santana rest in eternal peace, and give us comfort in the thoughts of cherished memories that we'll treasure of happier times, especially of our childhood. She was too sweet, too loving and too good to die young. She'll be missed. She lived in Goa and passed away there. She was 67 years old, 3 year older than myself. She leaves behind her husband, 2 married children, 2 grand kids, 2 sisters and a brother, 3 nephews and 1 niece.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

'The Fishing Dhows of Deira' - Dubai 1976.
Line Art Drawing by Tony Fernandes

Originally drawn on a sketchpad as a hobby, this drawing was later adopted by the corporate sector in Dubai and Sharjah as a Greeting Card in the late 1970's from a series of my other line ink drawings of this nature. The skyline of Bur Dubai viewed from across the creek in Deira pretty much looked like this in the early seventies.

The dhows drawn in my line art drawing are local fishing craft. They are not meant for venturing out too far out into the open sea. These wooden boats were powered by robust 'Yamaha' diesel engines. Poised on a rack at the rear of the dhow just above the engine (2nd dhow from right), are fishing nets that were lowered into the depths of the waters of the Arabian Gulf.Then there were bigger merchant dhows that used to sail to Karachi, Bombay, Goa and Iran. These had very deep drafts and carried a sizable cargo in their holds. Such vessel were the lifelines of trade of the Arabian Peninsula in the 1960's and perhaps continue even now.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Goan Proverbs & Sayings

Goan Proverbs & Sayings

'Voilem paan khuim khailea paanank hansta'

Literal trans: The top leaf, it seems, is laughing at the down leaf.'

Meaning, relevance and application: This has a very good meaning in the real world, and in the real sense. The top leaf of a tree or plant is young and upright. The lower leaf on the same tree is older and appear slumped. If the top leaf starts laughing at the disposition of the lower leaf today, little does it realize that it will meet with the same fate when its own turn comes as the tree grows in height and when age begins to take its toll, as the top leaf will one day become a down leaf itself. Also both the top leaf and the down leaf need the tree to survive. If the tree dies, the leaves will die. The same thing can be applied to the pride and disposition of humans in treating their subordinates or the less fortunate. 

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Goan Proverbs & Sayings

Goan Proverbs & Sayings

Saying: 'Thoueiachem dhar khuim sodanch moddlam'.

Lit. trans: 'The carpenter's door is always broken'.

Meaning and application in context. This famous proverb is very apt, true and applicable to what we do in our daily lives. This saying can be used in context that when often forget or care to fix or repair our own house door that is broken, but try to fix things of other people. We rarely have or find time to repair or mend our own things, but we are worried about the whole world. This proverb may also serve as a reminder that we rarely try to mend our own ways, while we criticise others.

Thursday, April 03, 2014



One may perhaps wonder
Or perhaps may never know
The anguish and the pain
When all of a sudden
You feel left out in the cold
Out in the open.

Confided, trusted and loved
A girl's life and honour is put at stake.
The brunt of it all
I find too much to take
My child crying in the corner there I see
As though through my body
Her veins I feel
And make me share
In her grief, tears, sorrow and pain.

This for my child
I wish never to happen
When one day you will
A father be
When all that your child does
And feels will run through your body.
Every pain and hurt even in the hearts 
Of the entire family.

As time goes by surely
From the shock she will recuperate
Just like the time when by your bed-side
She silently sat and prayed
For your hurt and pain to heal
And to be yourself again.

Tough as it may now seem to be
She may eventually even learn to love to hate
The person she bestowed her love upon;
In her naivety the love she gave
Which seems like a farce
And a mess you helped create.

Tony Fernandes

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

First of April

"The first of April

is the day we remember

what we are

the other 364 days

of the year."

~ Mark Twain

Wiser for a day not to get fooled.
Rest 364 are a different story.

~ Tonferns