This Diwali, students are coding greeting cards : Goa News

A village named after its lamp makers, an “enlightened” island shows an etymological connection with diyas
India time | 23 hours ago | 24-10-2022 | 04:38
India time
23 hours ago | 24-10-2022 | 04:38

Keri: Turning the chapters of history reveals Goa’s intimate connection to the ‘diyas’ or ‘deepaks’, the oil lamps so central to the Diwali festival. Giving a glance, are the etymology behind several village names in Goa, in addition to several other historical evidences. For one thing, stone lamps have been found in some of the rock-cut caves in the state with evidence to show that oil extracted from the seeds of wild fruits was used to light them. The town of Bicholim is also known locally as Divchali, a name taken from the famous copper and bronze lamps made by Kansar craftsmen here. Also, the lamp in the center of the state emblem, ‘Vriksha deep’ or lamp tree, is the well-known traditional lamp of Bicholim which symbolizes enlightenment through knowledge. When copper came to Goa from Karnataka and other parts, the coppersmiths, known as Kansars, started creating artistic lamps from metal. Later, the copper alloy, bronze, was used in the manufacture of lamps. Asankitavarman’s Hiregutti copper plates refer to the donation of the village of Sundarika to Deepak Vishaya to a Buddhist vihara. Historian VR Mitragotri identified Bicholim as the ‘Deepak’ of the inscription and the Sundarpeth quarter as Sundarika and the Buddhist vihara as Lamgaon Buddhist Cave in Bicholim. It is also interesting to note that the old name of the estuarine island Divar in the Mandovi was ‘Deepavati’. meaning “row of lamps”. Today, the villages of Navelim, Goltim, Malar and Naroa make up the island, where many Hindu temples of Saptakoteshwar, Mahaganapati, Ravalnath, Santeri and other deities once stood as well as the pilgrimage center of Porne Tirtha. At night, lamps were lit. in all these temples which earned the island the name of first Deepavati and later Diwadi and Divar.While the etymology of Divchali and Diwadi clearly indicates the importance of lamps in the socio-cultural and religious space of Goa, Sarojani Gaonkar, a folklorist from Surla, Sattari, highlights the intimate bond the Goans have shared with lighted lamps throughout the ages by highlighting the tradition of decorating homes with a row of lighted lamps and rangolis using flour, sand and clay to mark Diwali festivities.

Mika R. Pyle