Dilemmas of Eunice De Souza’s Goan-Catholic Identity


  • Rima Bhattacharya


This paper probes how Eunice De Souza, from her triply marginalized position of being Goan, Catholic, and a woman, negotiates her sense of belonging in India. Encouraging Goan-Catholics to unite with the larger Indian Hindu community, De Souza, in her poetry, provides a new perspective to understanding the Goan-Catholic identity. The poet dismantles her community’s assumption of being superiorly “different” from the rest of India by highlighting its flaws. Further, embracing compassion, a predominant trait of the Roman Catholic religion, De Souza in her poems seeks to find an answer to the sense of intolerance that Goan-Catholics exhibit towards followers of other religions in India, especially Hinduism. Further, this paper elucidates how De Souza’s poetry sets an example for other Goan-Catholics by embracing and celebrating a “hybrid” identity that allows her to be a part of the heterogeneous yet coherent Indian nation.


KEYWORDS: Goan-Catholic, Identity, Hybridity, Nationalism, Portuguese colonization