When you mention “Goa” to many people in India, an image of a stereotypical person wearing a Hawaiian shirt, bermuda shorts and a cane hat arises in the mind. A “Goan” person would be this person (generally a goateed man) sitting in the sun, sipping a feni on the beach. In fact the entire existence of this character was visualized on the beach. Lets blame the media for this and their rigorous campaigning of false stereotypes!
Nothing could be more far from the truth. Most locals I know of, avoid these touristy beaches and hardly can I imagine any of them stepping in the sun to pick a cane topi. But markets flourish. On the beach. In the city center, selling false stereotypical items. ( for example, peacock feathers…. when was the last time we ever bought a peacock feather?) Take Fashion Street in Mumbai for example. The Mumbai-Goa buses are strategically parked right outside this market, dolling out “costumes” that the ignorant tourist will “definitely need” at the end of their journey. These aren’t much different from the street market in colaba causeway selling afghan pants or Janpath in Delhi, selling stuff that many Indian homes haven’t seen.
A look at Anjuna market and you will know what I mean. The 60’s and 70’s tees and kurtas. Overflows and rejects from the once flourishing textile exports markets. They all seem to find a market here. Fulfilling just one purpose, accentuating the stereotypes and giving the experience that ignorant tourists demand. It builds for itself an ecosystem, different from the rest of Goa, but unique on its own. And its good. The economy depends on it.