The culture of Goa, including its language, has been influenced by the crosscultural intermingling created by various Hindu, Muslim and Christian dynasties and invasions.
Konkani is the mother tongue of most Goans while Marathi is widely spoken. Many Goans people speak both Konkani and Marathi.
While English is spoken in all the major towns of Goa, knowing a few Konkani phrases can always help. If nothing else, it will win you heartfelt appreciation and open smiles from the locals. You may also find it useful when exploring Goa’s outback.
Portuguese was widely spoken until Goa was liberated from the Portuguese regime in 1961. It’s still spoken by the older generation. In major towns, English is widely used. The other prominent language of Goa is Hindi besides Konkani, Marathi, English and Portuguese. Hindi is also widely understood in areas frequented by travellers and is used on road signs, bus destinations and tourism-related notices.
The multi-religious fabric of Goa’s society shines bright, imbibed with the spirit of ‘Sarva Dharma, Sarva Bhava’ or Equal Respect for all Religions.
The major religions are Hinduism and Christianity which together account for more than 95 per cent of the population while Islam and other religions account for the remainder 5 per cent. Goa is famous for its religious harmony and one can see a blend of all major religions of India in Goa.
Irrespective of their religion, people celebrate every festival with devotion and joy. People of different faiths and beliefs come together whenever some auspicious moment is to be celebrated.