The Bonderam festival is light-hearted harking back to the animosity that existed between two wards of a village during the Portuguese era. The two wards, Piedalda and Sao Mathias, in Divar Island used to engage in bitter feuds over property issues that often led to bloodshed and even death. Exasperated at these bickering, the Portuguese authorities demarcated the boundaries of the two wards using colorful flags.
the hatred ran so deep that the warring factions still knocked down the
demarcation flags using stones. Over the years, people of the region
have mellowed down and now they celebrate the Bonderam festival in a
mock remembrance of the quarrels of the past. As part of the
celebrations, people engage in mock battles using Fotashes, a toy weapon
made of bamboo stem.
The Bonderam feast takes the form of a carnival with gaily colored
floats strutting down the main thorough fare of the village. Each ward
of the village sends a float to the parade and no efforts are spared to
outdo each other. The parade is marked by joyous celebrations
accompanied by loud music. People from adjoining areas congregate in
large numbers for a peek into the unfolding festivities.