The first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions Goa is the thriving party scene, loud music, beach shacks, great seafood and people high on life who love to live at their pace in peace. Among all these there is one term that has made the smallest state of India to be well known to the outer world. And that is “Susegad”.
Susegad comes from the Portuguese word ‘Sossegado’ meaning ‘quiet’. It refers to the laidback attitude of Goans, one where they seem to live in a perennial state of contentment.
Unlike in other states, in Goa, it takes a month to get an internet connection, and two months to get a passport. You will have to wait until 10 in the morning if you want to do an emergency money transfer at the bank. A Goan grocery store worker at 7pm saying “now we’re closed – you come back tomorrow.” is quite normal.
For a long time Goans have been used to the susegad or siesta lifestyle being relaxed and content towards life, believing in enjoying life to the fullest while relieving stress and achieving wellness. From the early 80s people of Goa have been accustomed to live a susegad life; open the shops, super markets, private as well as public offices at 11am and close for lunch from 1pm to 4 pm. Even essential sir like banks and hospitals also had the same schedule. While in other states essential services and offices were open on Saturdays for at least the first half of the day, weekends were definitely a holiday for Goan public essential services.
But now we see that this scenario has gradually started to change. Goans are trying to fit into the fast paced world while facing reality.
If you take a stroll around Goa now, you can see that many shops, Supermarts, Parlours and other offices are open till late night and some even have 24 hours service. Even the banks, mostly the private ones are open for service on Saturdays only closing on Sundays.
Some may interpret this change as a strategy to earn more profits by providing long hour services. But still Goans coming out of their so called laid back, lazy lifestyle and trying out to keep up with the world and its new trends is something that is worth appreciation.
Goans are not living the susegad life anymore. But they are trying to adjust themselves to the efficient, diligent and fast forward world out there.