Sao Joao – The Goan festival of flowers, music and jumping into wells

One of the more popular #Festivals of #Goa is that of Sao Joao. And that is saying something because the tiny state of Goa perhaps celebrates more festivals than any other state. Unlike most other states of #India where festivals are mostly on religious lines Goa has enough festivals that are all Goan. Now consider the fact that it is home to close to 200 villages (182 at last count) and a lot many of these have festivals that are unique to that particular #Village. Now that is a lot of revelry and fun. There is the #KazuchemFest that celebrates the making of the local #Cashew based drinks of #Urrak and #Feni. There are festivals that pay tribute to Goa’s rich fishing tradition as well as those dedicated to various types of bread (yes you read that right!) that only get made in this state. There are even festivals celebrating the craze that Goans have for the game of #Football. In short, Goans #Celebrate #Life and all it’s gifts, big and little. Without favor or bias.

Sao Joao is celebrated by the #Catholic community to celebrate the #Baptism of #Jesus by #StJohn in the river #Jordan, an event that is considered the most historically important event for believers (along with #Crucification) That is why as part of the various festivities, Goans take a dip in local water bodies (read ponds & wells) as a symbolic way of #Cleansing. And by default as with many festivals that originate from here, music, dance & drink are an integral part of the whole experience. And then there is the timing of it all. It usually happens on the same day every year, #June24 (though festivities go on all week) which interestingly is the period when the #FirstMonsoon of the season arrives in the state. So in many ways Sao Joao is also a celebration of the onset of monsoon and a quiet prayer for #a good Harvest (backed by the rains) As part of the ritual a distinctive coronation of flowers (#Kopel in local parlance) adorn the head of revellers. This began with the local practice of newlyweds visiting the bride’s home with a fruit as gift. Those days!

The same Kopels aka coronation of flowers are used to crown the cross at the end of #BoatProcessions that are more a regular sight under South. From simple wreaths made of roses to those with plaited palm leaves (the more creative folks use fruits and vegetables in making them) there can be an entire piece written only by these ‘Kopels’ Here must mention that as Goa was ruled by the #Portuguese for over four hundred years a lot of that #Culture has become ingrained in the #GoanEthos. So it is inevitable that every Catholic festival has come influence of the Portuguese tradition. After all the festival of Sao Joao is celebrated with equal fervour in #Portugal and various other parts of Europe. Though in Portugal this is more like a street festival with #Bonfires, barbeques, fireworks and dance parties (read raves) that go on through the night. History tells us that these festivities go back to pre Christian #Pagan times (many have to do with #CourtshipRituals even) In Goa it must be mentioned that it is in #NorthGoa that it is celebrated with gusto and if you are in this part of the world be sure to head towards this part of town. And it is a good idea to leave a little in advance. After all on this day all roads lead to #Siolim (a village in North Goa) Viva Sao Joao!

Osmania University- 100 years of faithful service to the nations development

Osman Ali Khan:

“It should offer education that is harmonious blend of the knowledge and culture of ancient and modern times to remove defects created by present education system.”

Osmania University is one of the premier institutions of high education making higher education accessible, affordable and meaningful to lakhs of students all around India and globally as well. Osmania- is the seventh oldest in India, the third oldest in South India and the first to be established in the State of Hyderabad. The public state University was founded in 1918 with the help of the chief- architect  Mahbub Ali Khan- Nawab Sarwar Jung and was named after the seventh and last Nizam of Hyderabad, Nawab Mir Osman Ali Khan.

The birth of Osmania University equal to the renaissance in the Indian educational system. Throughout its existence over the whole century, It has shown remarkable development and has grown into one of the major Universities of India. The students of  Osmania University or alumni in comparison to another universities distinguished themselves in various spheres of life, becoming important figures of public life such as Chief Ministers, eminent scholars, diplomats, layers, doctors, engineers, Legislators and etc. Most compelling evidence is that , several alumni of University by continuation of their further education and training later abroad , have notably contributed to the national effort as well as for  the name of the country abroad while they won international acknowledgement. At present, many of Osmania graduators hold senior positions in largest corporations and companies all over the world.

With the glorious past and inspiring future Osmania still maintaining to serve to the prosperity of the nation. Today, as a multi-faculty, multi-campus, residential and affiliating University, it offers various undergraduates, postgraduates, research and professional programs. It offers a wide- variety of courses consistent with the requirements of the times through 54 departments comprising the faculties of Arts, Social Sciences, Science, Commerce, Management, Law, Engineering, Technology, Education, Oriental Languages and Informatics. The Universities reputation for academic excellence attracts students from the State, Country and the World. As University strongly believes that international corporation holds the key to the pursuit of excellence of  in higher learning.

That is absolutely important thing to mention that Osmania University nurtures globally competitive skills to students not only in India, however abroad as well. Almost nearly all the International students have been doing their studies in this university in India. For this reason, the University launched  -The University Foreign Relations Office (UFRO) in 1999 as a nodal agency to deal with various issues relating to the admission of international students and exchange programs involving several foreign universities. The University has good collaboration with leading institutions abroad. The UFRO assists in fostering relations between the universities both Indian and foreign and helps in exchange programs involving staff, scholars and students. The intake of foreign nationals into Osmania University  has been increasing tremendously each year. This is indeed one more reason how Osmania is respected and evaluated by people, well-known and great.

Together with, this year-2017 Osmania is celebrating centenary of its inauguration. The centenary celebration which has been a grant affair not only in Telangana, but in whole India. All the students of Osmania, guests and Telangana people actively participated. the chief guest of the celebration President Pronab Mukherjee, in addition with Telangana Governor ESL Narasimhan, OU Vice Chancellor S. Ramachandram graced the occasion. Even S Ramachandram- OU Vice Chancellor stated and highlighted  the contribution of Osmania by bringing as an example the words of the poet Gaddar. The words of OU Vice Chancellor in the inauguration got a stirring applause from the students, especially when he sang a song “amma Osmania ” the crowd erupted chanting. “OU helped shape my political activism, and I am fortunate  to carry with me the songs of Telangana to all over the world. I am proud of my alma-mater.” The university has been sharing its achievements, glorious past, challenges and determining future plans in this historical event. OU centenary started on April 26, 2017 and will continue the whole year until April 25, 2018.

As can be seen,  Osmania University nowadays is a national leader in teaching and research. It provides various opportunities of higher education and research for international and domestic students. University caters to the students of varying interest, abilities, backgrounds and expectations. Possessing constant vision ( develop, enhance and improve the quality of human resources,  to meet the challenges of regional, national and global socio-economic changes) and mission ( to achieve excellence in teaching and research and to create opportunities for the students to contribute to the national and regional development )  Osmania keep on giving competent higher educational services. For these consistency and successes in the past, the University has been re-accredited with highest rating of “A” grade by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) of India. Moreover, it has been conferred the coveted status of University with Potential for  Excellence (UPE) by the University Grants Commission in 2012 making it one of the top five Universities in the Country. Keeping in the view the need for high standard education and world class facilities the University has taken up several new initiatives at present times  to make remarkable changes in teaching, learning and research.