Red bricks, heaps of sand and patch of greenery among piles of wires and wooden chips, these are the materials that are seen around cribs that are yet under construction. All these materials go into forming the divine looking cribs that spotted across Goa for the Christmas season. Come evening, all youngsters are gathered around the crib deciding on the next plan of action as it has to be ready by Christmas Eve.
Besides the huge cribs that are prepared near the churches, there are those which are prepared either in wards or among group of friends. One such crib is prepared bang opposite the Holy Cross Church, Santa Cruz. The crib is being prepared by Friend’s Circle, Santa Cruz and is headed by Stanley Dias. The crib has been a regular feature for a few years and it attracts church goers during the Christmas season.
“ We started working on the crib from December 8, 2012 onwards. There are a lot of small detailed work which require time and patience. Since most members of the group are either studying or working, we spend our spare time here. We meet in the evenings and come as early as 6: 30 am to finish what we can in the morning before heading to college to work,” says Stanley as he gently pats over the soft mud to make the tiny pathway in the crib.
The Somudai group of Odlem Bhat 2 in Taleigao has around 50 houses that are working on a single community crib. The women of the ward clean the surroundings of the crib, while the boys and men work hard on the lighting, water works and setting up of the crib. “ In our group all are equal; no one dominates. Two parishioners who have conceptualized the crib are Clyde Lopes ad Victor Cardinho besides others like Kevin Godinho, Elden Jorge, Clinton Lopes and Julius.
As it is made compulsory by the church in Taleigao there will be around 30 cribs on display this Christmas season,” says Norman Fernandes.
He adds, “ Earlier, the cribs were more personal, with each house having one of its own. Now, we work simultaneously on both the cribs.
This brings the community together as we spend the evenings here having fun and showing our creativity. There will be a party for the Somudai on the Feast of Three Kings, the last day of Christmas.” Boys of Odlem Bhat have gone all out to create a wooden footbridge at the crib with a snow cave that marks the entrance of the crib. The group of 12 boys is headed by Heral Peixoto. “ We work from 8pm to 1am in the morning and during holidays in the week for the day. We have been making the crib for the past five years so people look forward to something new every time. There is still a lot of work but we will be done by Christmas Eve,” says Casmiro Peixoto with cheer.
The joy of crib- making is now shared not just by family members but also by the community as they plan and bring out innovative cribs for the 12 days of Christmas. HERALD experiences the creative bonding [H]