Celebrations to mark arrival of German hippies

Panaji: A German tourist adventurer and traditionally-dressed fraus and frauleins are all set to whip up Germanic fervour here Dec 8 as part of celebrations to mark 60 years of the arrival of first hippies of German origin in Goa.

The Indo-German Friendship Society, Goa, (IGFSG) has planned week-long celebrations which will include discussions, seminars, workshops on issues of India-Germany interests and entertainment events.

Speaking to reporters in Panaji, IGFSG president Aurobindo Xavier said that the highlight of the celebrations would be the arrival of a Volkswagon-made cargo-passenger van Bulli, driven by an adventurer, to Goa via the land route across Europe and Asia.

"The German hippies first came to Goa in a Bulli 60 years ago and stayed in Anjuna. We wanted to recreate the same magic. A German, Niels Melves, and his family has come all the way from Germany, driving across Iraq and Pakistan," Xavier said.

Other events on the occasion would include a German pastry making session conducted by women from the European country.

"Germany is famous for its traditional pastries, so we will have German women and girls in traditional Bavarian costumes teaching people how to make pastries," Xavier said.

"German trading vessels used to trade with Goa by travelling with the Portuguese. The trade was for Arabian horses, spices and silk. So, it is not true that the regions have no ties at all," said Xavier, who holds a doctorate and teaches in a university in Munich, Germany.

"In fact, not many know but three German trading vessels were sunk by the British off the coast of Mormugao in 1944 during the World War-II. Several sailors who were aboard the targeted vessels chose to settle down in Goa and marry the locals," he said.